By Tiffany Janay
Photo provided as a courtesy by David Olender

MGMT is one of those bands that has a magical ability to connect directly to the dancing part of one’s soul and suddenly your body is doing moves you didn’t know you could do.  My friend in Atlanta heard the music and knew that it would go right along with my breezy-hippie type of lifestyle and mailed me a copy.  I have been hooked ever since.

On July 15th, MGMT rocked SDSU’s Open Air Venue with a nearly sold out crowd of about 5000 people. SDSU seemed like a fitting venue for the show because Andrew Vanwyngarden and Ben Goldwasser met while attending college (in Connecticut).  They say they didn’t mean to start a band; they were just playing around  and experimenting with music they liked.  They are in their early twenties and their music career is soaring.  Their tour list is packed with dates back to back ranging from all over the United States to the Netherlands, Ireland, United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, France, and Czech Republic, to name a few.  In a short amount of time, they have easily become an international phenomenon.

After college their journey took them to Brooklyn, NY and a week later they were signed to Columbia Records and assigned Dave Friddman (Flaming Lips producer) to produce the album, Oracular Spectacular. They recently released their second album, “Congratulations.”  The lyrics seem to hint in the direction of their newfound fame and living life as a celebrity, which is much different than anything they set out to do. After college, Ben remained in Connecticut to pursue a construction job!

It’s hard to define their sound.  When people ask me, I say it’s like some electronic, psychedelic-hippie music.  On their myspace page it is defined as healing, easy listening, soul music.  I would definitely have to agree with that.  Their sound is timeless and does not discriminate who can love it.  The audience was a rainbow of different ethnicities, age groups, and styles.

There was a security guard there that I could tell was just at work and had no idea who this band was. When “Electric Feel” came on, he saw the way the crowd was reacting and he caught the spirit.  He all of a sudden started moving and got lost in the zone.  He was moving his mouth in an attempt to sing the words that he didn’t know. It was obvious he just couldn’t help himself. We caught each other’s eyes and laughed.  I sympathized with him because the involuntary emotions over take me every time their music comes on too. That’s the power that MGMT commands over you.  If you find yourself in this situation, don’t fight it, just let go and let the good music take you on a journey.

When I heard they were going to be in town I knew I HAD to be there.  Their music is such an amazing and unique sound experience.  I needed to witness in person the people responsible for this and see what instruments contributed to the vibration.  Every few songs Ben and Andrew would switch around instruments.  Nothing beats a live band set with multi-talented musicians expressing how deep their creativity runs within them.

Their set began with one of the guys in the band playing about a one minute intro to “Pieces of What” on some sort of flute while the guys strummed along on their guitars.  Ben chimed in with his slightly screechy, high pitched, unique voice and the crowd went wild.  Instead of a mosh pit, they had a pit of people that all moved in the same rhythm and groove looking like a sea of fish.

The sound they create has a mystique to it.  You may not quite be sure what it is that attracts you to this sound or how to define it.  It’s timeless music and although it was recently created by 2 twenty somethings, it sounds as if it has been rocked since the 60’s and was enjoyed by party-goers at Woodstock.

MGMT is definitely a marijuana-loving band.  During their set they made a few references to the smell of weed in the air and the good grade of California bud.  The audience seemed to know this about them too because there were clouds of smoke consistently throughout the show.

I have yet to get the new album but I do listen to their first one on at least a weekly basis.  The whole album is amazing but my body does some things I’m not familiar with when “Kids”, “Electric Feel”, and “Time to Pretend” comes on.  They are all feel good songs. The rest are deep, dark, mind traveling songs and the experience is enhanced when firing up a spliff.

Visit my website to see exclusive footage from the show at

I loVe discovering new sounds and musicians so send me your favorite groups that you think I should know about and invite me out to review your show/concert.  Email me at

bringing you that fire! stay tune for more posts.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.