Take Only What You Neeeeed From It | Solid State
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Friday, August 13, 2010

Take Only What You Neeeeed From It

Posted By on Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 2:50 PM

Anyone else been whistling the lead lick from "Kids" today? I have been all morning. I honestly can't stop, and I think my coworkers might jump me at any moment. But before they do, a few observations from last night's MGMT show.

- Man, I do love me some shows on the waterfront. And dammit, I want more. It's a beautiful setting, it's convenient and easily accessible. There really isn't a downside. Which reminds me …

- Last year, I wrote a sort of tongue-in-cheek open letter to Phish, asking them to consider turning Waterfront Park and Burlington at large into an enormous hippie carnival for a weekend, mostly 'cuz we could use the influx of cash. Obviously, that plan was not without major (and potentially fatal) flaws — like my floating stage idea, for example. But am I the only one who thinks we're well beyond the point of needing a legit outdoor concert venue? Or even just a legit arena-sized venue? Something like whatever-they're-calling-the-Tweeter Center in Mass. these days would do it. Or better yet, the Fleet Pavilion. And here's a great example of why it should happen …

- Raise your hand if you were psyched to learn that LCD Soundsystem and Sleigh Bells are coming at the end of September. Keep 'em raised if you were equally crushed to learn they are playing in the concrete acoustic nightmare that is Memorial Auditorium. As much as I enjoy both bands — and would REALLY be looking forward to seeing Sleigh Bells — I can't in good conscience recommend anyone pay good money to see a show there. Yes, it's really that awful a venue. It's a shame this couldn't have been slated for the waterfront too. Talk about an epic end to the summer/beginning of the fall. 

- Back to the point, MGMT played well last night. Really well. And the stuff from Congratulations translated much better live than I would have thought. My only quibble is that the mix seemed off the mark all night, everywhere but dead center. In particular, vocals, both lead and backing, were buried so deeply they were often virtually inaudible in the crush of synth and guitar. It's funny, because earlier that day I had a conversation with a friend who recently caught them along the waterfront in Brooklyn and expressed the exact same frustration I would experience later that night.  And no, I don't think the water is the common factor here. Speaking of water …

- Why don't I own a boat? I mean, besides being broke. The party boat scene in Burlington Bay during the show looked like an absolute blast. [Note from the Solid State legal team: Please boat responsibly, and always have a designated captain.]

- Back on land, it was a really interesting crowd. Kind of a funny mix of older hipsters, frat guys, and teenyboppers and their parents. I heard there was a very similar crowd at Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros a few weeks ago. And it can't just be hipsters gobbling up the new Billboard-topping Arcade Fire album, right? So is this recent mass acceptance of "indie" music proof, as NPR recently suggested, that indie rock is the new classic rock? Maybe. Or maybe people are starting to understand that good music is good music regardless how skinny your jeans are. Just a thought. A hopelessly naive thought. (What's more likely: TV commercials are the best exposure for up-and-coming bands since the dawn of the music video.)

- There were also a mildly surprising number of hippies in attendance, perhaps further illustrating indie and dance rock's continuing crossover appeal. But can I offer a potentially pissy observation? Noodle dancing doesn't work for every style of music. Just sayin' …

- Of course, there are already vids from the show making the rounds — thanks, Internet! Here's one of the better ones.

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About The Author

Dan Bolles

Dan Bolles

Bio:
Dan Bolles is Seven Days' assistant arts editor.

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