Psychedelic band delights HK

Psychedelic band delights HK

Rock band MGMT's first appearance in Hong Kong played to a packed audience at Kitec Star Hall.

When the five-member band mounted the stage, the audience went wild. People of all ages rose to their feet to move in time to the beats of the band that was nominated for Best New Artist and Best Pop Performance at the 2010 Grammys.

However, in contrast to the audience, MGMT never seemed truly hyped. A laser lighting system, fog machine and projections of psychedelic, retro patterns and trippy images complementing the band's synth songs was some compensation for its rather weak stage presence.

The band played a fair mix of songs from both its albums, Orange Spectacular and Congratulations over the course of almost two hours.

Crowd-pleasers from the first album were instantly invigorating. Hit singles like Kids, Time to Pretend and Electric Feel created a mass dance party as the audience raved, although there was never really a moment where everyone was singing together.

On the other hand, tracks from the second album were much more subtle, and not the live performance material MGMT is famous for. Song for Dan Treacy was particularly enjoyable, but perhaps largely lost on the crowd. A fast-paced and wired track, it was an example of the many songs that were deliberately devoid of a pop hook, moving away from mass appeal and towards a more authentic tune.

The band is clearly in love with the 1970s psychedelic sound and its genuine passion showed through its music. The concert may not have been the most gratifying for a casual fan, but it was an all-round enjoyable musical experience.

A special mention has to go to opening band, French Horn Rebellion, comprising brothers David and Robert Perlick-Molinari. French Horn Rebellion shares a melodic kinship and a similar genre with MGMT, making it a perfect opening band.

Their music, a strange synthesis of pop and classical, courtesy of David's sound engineering and Robert's French horn skills, was surprisingly pleasing and catchy.

YP rating: 4/5

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