As the final scene of Skins’ second series played out to the opening bleeps of ‘Time To Pretend’, the nation came down with a heavy dose of MGMTitis. It’s a bit like meningitis, only you feel less shit and hallucinate tie-dye patterns while developing an insatiable desire to wear a bandanna. That bloody song has been stuck in the teen nation’s heads ever since and, like a hippy to an illegal rave, Brighton’s contingent are drawn to tonight’s gig in their stoned droves.
With a flute-featuring hippy-dippy band in tow, the duo take to the stage, Andrew VanWyngarden clad in some kind of purple and orange dressing-gown get-up, his bare and hairless boy-chest exposed for all to see. Those expecting an adrenaline-fuelled electro-disco fresh from the NYC underground to kick in are slightly puzzled when what ensues is a warbling and stretched out 10-minute slice of psychedelic noise. MGMT don’t blast you between the eyeballs, you see, they slowly lure you into their green fog of hypnotic guitars and fuzzy synths. By the time the sleazy ‘Electric Feel’ is in full swing, the audience, complete with the still-undecideds, are theirs for the taking. Said song is George Michael circa 1984 French-kissing Jimi Hendrix, ‘The Youth’ is Mick Jagger releasing white butterflies and, when ‘Time To Pretend’ finally arrives, despite apparently being delivered begrudgingly (and thus slightly lacking its recorded sprightliness), euphoria of course ensues. VanWyngarden is always the focal point – dreamy yet focused throughout, only breaking his between-song trance to thank the audience and comment on tonight’s full moon, which is shining over the still sea right outside the venue. How very, like, apt.
And if MGMT are bringing back the Summer Of Love to a generation who were born decades too late, tonight they are doing so in meticulous detail. Once the show is over, the band host their own private after-party, proceeding to lock themselves in the VIP room with a gaggle of giggling girls. Peace and love, maaan.