MGMT gig in Leeds...[1] [2] [3] [4]

MGMT at Leeds Academy

Just why MGMT had chosen this venue to play besides others in Leeds was a wonder, since it was much too small to contain the hundreds of people crammed onto the tiny dance floor. But maybe they just hadn’t seen ahead to the level of success they’d have. On releasing their debut album ‘Oracular Spectacular’ in January 2008, perhaps they hadn’t imagined the degree of fame they’d be at on the new music circuit in just a few months’ time. Certainly by this night, November 5th 2008, they had gained enough success from playing Glastonbury, Carling Reading and Leeds Festivals, Oxegen and T in the Park, that they needed much bigger venues. But O2 Leeds Academy would prove a better venue than anywhere else for them.

The O2 Leeds Academy has to contend with The Cockpit, one of Leeds’s bigger and better known live music venues, attracting the likes of Mystery Jets, Amy Winehouse, Queens of the Stone Age and Franz Ferdinand. Leeds Academy has recently been refurbished and whilst MGMT is one of its first acts to appear after this refurbishment, the venue is still little known. Not for long though: bands such as Pet Sounds, The Enemy and Basement Jaxx are set to play here early this year [2009], as well as the famous Lilly Allen, and even Primal Scream played here in December 2008. They’ll all be following in MGMT’s footsteps.

So, hundreds of people are standing waiting for MGMT to appear on the stage in thirty minutes’ time. More and more are entering the venue, heading straight to the bar to get their first drinks of the night. Several are heading straight to the dance floor, trying to gain a place amongst the crowd and a good view of the stage. All this will change soon enough when the band takes to the stage and people cram forward together, desperate to see the band play.

First up are Amazing Baby, a little known band who, like MGMT, hail from Brooklyn, NY. The Brooklyn music scene is certainly up and coming, with bands such as Chairlift also making their mark in the mainstream. With tons of energy and enough catchy guitar riffs and melodies, Amazing Baby manage to grab the attention of the crowd, who soon begin singing and dancing along to the songs that just a few minutes ago were all the more mysterious and unknown to them. Taking into account that NME are mentioning Amazing Baby more and more, witnessing them live only confirms guesses that they’ll be a big name in 2009, following fast in the footsteps of their peers.

Amazing Baby play their last song, thank the audience, and head off backstage. There are only five minutes left before MGMT are due to play, and the technicians are back on stage making sure everything is arranged correctly. In the balconies above the dance floor people are sitting and waiting anxiously for when the band appear.

Then the room grows dark except for a few blue laser beams and lilac fluorescent lights, and the screams shoot into the air as MGMT take to the stage. After a few seconds’ greetings, they break into ‘Future Reflections’. Ironically, this is the last song on their debut album, but it’s the opening track tonight, and it works. As it reaches the end, the song picks up speed and it’s a flourish of ...



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