Janelle Monae slays, MGMT stays weird at sold-out show
MGMT and a few thousand of their fans got a lesson in Colorado weather Friday night as a gorgeous Red Rocks evening transformed into a jaw-dropping downpour in the space of an hour. To everyone's credit, though, the young crowd refused to surrender its good mood and MGMT stuck to its reluctant-rock star gameplan.
Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden, along with their band of touring musicians, avoided MGMT's trademark songs ("Time to Pretend," "Kids," "Electric Feel") for the first part of their waterlogged set, hewing instead to deep cuts and tracks from their newest, stylistically different album "Congratulations." The hardcore MGMT-heads in the crowd seemed thrilled, but the psych-rock weirdness appeared to be in danger of losing many parents and casual fans.
Middle act Janelle Monae, possibly the most buzzed-about act in pop music right now, embraced the same theatricality and crowd-pleasing moves MGMT disdained. She took the stage in a procession of black-robed figures and electrified the amphitheater with her unique brand of gothic funk-rock for a solid hour. Granted, she enjoyed better weather than MGMT faced during their set, but the energy gap between the two bands was stunning.
Openers Tame Impala fit their name better than anyone could have expected, churning out long, lean, unremarkable psychedelia without so much as cracking a smile.