What did we expect from this? A young, inexperienced five-piece, thrown into the deep end after a couple of massive (and fantastic) singles, playing sold out shows across Europe, armed with only a (let's face it) pretty patchy debut album? All things considered, were we foolish to get our hopes up?
Tonight's gig is mostly awful. Awful to the point that it crosses our mind half way through it may be some kind of elaborate fly on the wall TV wind up show and that, any minute now, someone will walk out and shout "GOTCHA!!!". Then we'll laugh and admit we almost fell for it, before the *real* MGMT come onstage and start the gig properly.
But no, this is it. Tedious, over-indulgent and totally charmless guitar workouts - tracks like 'Weekend Wars' and 'The Youth' - which are passable filler on the album, have their soul ripped out tonight and are reduced to the kind of coma-inducing aural trudgery which allow not just a beer run and a trip to the toilet, but the opportunity to write a short novella.
As a distraction, 'Electric Feel' is greeted with a huge roar of relief. It's nicely reworked and approaching special, as if to make everything else that happens look even worse and remind us that music doesn't have to be painful.
After that, it's back to daft drum solos, wah-wah pedal work outs (seriously, who uses a wah wah pedal these days?!) and cringe-tastic poses from that long haired guitarist who seems to think he's in a different band. Honestly - you'd barely cheer along if it was your fourteen year old brother and his mates doing their first gig in the school gymnasium.
Even 'Time to Pretend' is ruined - sounding lame and watered down - waving at us with a limp wrist when what you expected (and wished for) was to be slapped in the face. We're all trying out best to enjoy ourselves, knowing we still have 'Kids' to look forward to, at least. Surely such a wonderful, gem of indie-pop couldn't possibly be ruined?
True, but only because they don't actually perform the thing. Instead, the track is played off CD, with only the singer getting involved, as the rest of the band just dance about the stage. No explanation is offered as to just why this is happening. As if to divert attention away from the fact no one is actually doing anything, roadies bring out a giant, fake guitar, which the band then pretend to strum. It's utterly baffling.
As for the encore - words cannot describe how boring it gets. The obvious reference is Spinal Tap - but not even the, you know, "good" Tap stuff- this stuff sounds like the bit in the film when Nigel Tufnell leaves in a huff and they're forced to perform that weird Jazz odyssey.
Eric Cartman was right. Never trust one hippie, let alone five.