The Spring concert series ended for me 2 weeks ago. The last 2 concerts of my 4 concert series? LCD Soundsystem and MGMT.
Not originally on the concert series calendar, LCD soundsystem was a last minute attendance.
Having more interest in Shanghai Tunnel’s basement bar than the opening band, we arrived later than usual to this concert. We entered The Roseland, passed through the metal detector, and rocketed up the steps when we realized the main event had already begun (oops)!
The floor & balcony was packed but we found a portion of dance floor open near the front left of the stage…directly in front of band’s incrediblymassivemakeyourearsbleed speaker system. This was the first concert I actually plugged my ears for part of the set…and wasn’t the only one!
The band itself has great dance/punk rhythyms that are accompanied with vocalist James Murphy’s singing/storytelling. They play prime dance music and don’t mind doing so themselves. Drummer Pat Mahoney has resorted to wearing only a bathing suit during the show to combat the heat associated with their beats.
Though they are most closely associated with New York City, Murphy’s right hand girl, Nancy Whang, had her mother in the audience that night. After checking on how her mom was doing, Nancy invited the entire crowd to the after party bar. When she was trying to give directions, Murphy kept the concert rolling by telling everyone the bar was “at the corner of iphone and google”. . . to which I took a moment to recognize the truth in that statement and applaud his cleverness with a hearty laugh.
It was only fitting that the final concert of the series was at one of Portland’s great venues: Mcmenamins Crystal Ballroom.
Arriving an hour late, we still happened to be a half hour early to the opening act. We made our way up to the balcony and relaxed until MGMT took the stage. By far the most packed concert, we squeezed our way as close to the stage as possible.
The band came out and was greeted with the roars of Portland’s finest hipsters. The bands first album, Oracular Spectacular, has received a greater response than their newer release, Congratulations, but in this town, MGMT can do no wrong.
A few songs into the concert lead singer, Andrew VanWyngarden, reminded us all of the Crystal’s best feature: the bouncy floor. Immediately following that statement they played their first major hit of the night, Time to Pretend, which drove the crowd wild.
The 2 hour concert was a non-stop dance party that was sprinkled with hit songs and screaming fans. When they played my ringtone, Electric Feel, I couldn’t help making the floor bounce even more. After the shortest plea for an encore ever, the band played the one song the set list had been missing: Kids.
Ending the concert with one of their biggest hits may be the best concert move ever. They designed the concert perfectly so the climax was at the very end–forcing everyone to leave excited and singing *literally* their praises down the streets of Portland.
Now onto summer concert planning…Suggestions??