Reading 2008 review: MGMT

They prove that, on occasions, theatrical guitar solos can be as fun for the crowd as the guy gurning his way through it onstage. If the Raconteurs are reading - we said 'on occasions'

Name: MGMT

Where and when: NME/Radio 1 stage, 6.55pm, Friday, Reading

Dress code: Singer Andrew Van Wyngarden obviously hasn't read the Reading Festival Book of Rawk - he's turned up in a none-more-hippy tie-dyed cloak, the kind of garment that Joseph would consider a tad garish. Mind you, it's hard to even see the band through all that dry ice.

Who's watching: All the punters who've had enough of the Enemy's pie'n'chips realism on the main stage and have escaped to expand their minds into the 74th dimension.

In a nutshell: The band might not have read their rock handbook, but the crowd certainly have - even during the band's most blissed-out, noodly psychedelic moments there are circle pits forming. Opening with Electric Feel, the band are smart enough to spread their hits throughout the set, meaning that every time you get bored nodding your head along to some five-minute-long Pink Floyd-style wig out there's always a glam-pop stomper around the corner. It all builds up to Time to Pretend and a stunning Kids, which proves that, on occasions, theatrical guitar solos can be as fun for the crowd as the guy gurning his way through it onstage. If the Raconteurs are reading - we said "on occasions".

High point: The crowd carry on yelling the keyboard riff from Kids long after the band have legged it back to their magical mystery tour bus.

Low point: Over-enthusiastic moshers trying to crack down on the good vibes, maaan. I mean, come on, what kind of freak forms a circle pit for MGMT?

How hard do they rock?: At times, they try and get heavy, but these guys are too busy hallucinating giant purple guinea pigs where the burger fans should be to really crank up the rock dial.

Contributor

Tim Jonze

The GuardianTramp

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