Live Review: MGMT, Guards at ABC 12/10/13

MGMTIt fells as though winter has truly arrived on Sauchiehall Street as what seems an endless line of shivering quirky teenagers file into the ABC.

The task of thawing this crowd lies in the hands of Guards, an indie rock three piece hailing from New York.

An explosive opening grabs everyone’s attention and as the band get into their stride numbers at the bar begin to dwindle and crowd begins to get excited.

The set is relatively brief, but armed with a string of songs with soaring choruses and catchy lyrics, which lend themselves wonderfully for a sing a long and snippets of chat from a charismatic front man, they certainly make the most of their time on the stage.

Tracks like ‘Coming True’ and ‘Silver Lining’ are particularly popular, but that said every song is well received, much to the apparent disbelief of the band, which seem to be refreshingly surprised by the fact that people are enjoying themselves so much.

The band concluded the set by thanking everyone for paying attention – it would certainly seem fair to say that the crowd did a lot more than just that.

The sci-fi style countdown to the arrival of MGMT sets the tone for the remainder of the evening.

From the mesmerising psychedelic background graphics to the baffling unannounced cameo of a fan playing a cowbell, the set is peppered with countless bizarre yet brilliant elements, which complement the group’s brand of electro rock perfectly.

Unlike their support, the main act of don’t focus on encouraging audience participation; lead vocalist Andrew VanWyngarden is evidently a man of few words but luckily he is in a position to let his music do the talking.

The cleverly crafted set list, which consists of tracks from all three albums is a perfect demonstration of how the band has developed through time; naturally old favourites from Oracular Spectacular (2007) such as ‘Time to Pretend’ and the ever-ubiquitous ‘Kids’ are met with wild appreciation from the crowd, but this isn’t to say that their more recent music isn’t also greeted with great enthusiasm.

The band respond to the thunderous clapping, cheering and cries of “one more tune” with a fitting encore of ‘Congratulations’, the title track from their second album and the uplifting ‘Plenty of Girls in the Sea’.

Following the release of their latest album, some critics have claimed that MGMT are passed their best.

This concert is a damming retort to these claims, as it not only proved that the band are gifted musicians, but also that they are unique in their entirety, which is arguably not something that can be said for many currently popular acts.

As long as they maintain this individual style, there will always be a crowd ready to cheer for MGMT.

Words: Ellen Renton

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