Ting Tings Rule the Pool, MGMT Not So Much

Despite the inclement weather at the beginning of the afternoon (thunder–check, lightening–check), an enormous line fully wrapped around McCarren Pool by 2:00pm today for the free Pool Party show starring the Ting Tings and Brooklyn-rock darlings, MGMT. It was pretty nuts.

Once inside, it was just as insane–a sea of umbrellas and ugly DELL freebie towels littered the crowd. Around 2:45, the audience burst into uproarious applause as the Ting Tings took the stage. The dynamic duo of Jules De Martino (drums, guitar, vocals) and Katie White (vocals, guitar, bass drum) blew through their set with such enormous energy, enthusiasm, and elegance, they were by far the best thing to take the stage the entire day.

Hit songs “That’s Not My Name” and “Shut Up and Let Me Go” (you know, that iPod commercial song) stirred the crowd into a delicious tizzy, with the later featuring an extended ending that allowed for three double dutch jump ropers to perform tricks as Katie White banged on a bass drum emblazoned with the band’s name.

This guy could not hold it in long enough…he had to V.I.Pee against the brick wall…immediately.

By the time MGMT hit the stage, the venue was at full capacity, with folks peering behind the gates around the side of the pool, trying to get a glimpse (and a listen) of the happenings inside. The sky had cleared up, and the umbrellas collapsed, and the ponchos were put away.

The concrete pool is always greener from the other side, ain’t it?

I’d been quite excited to see MGMT, after falling in love with their two big singles, “Electric Feel” and “Time to Pretend,” but after hearing a little bit about their weird backstory, I knew that this performance had the potential to be amazingly awesome, or amazingly horrible. Well, it was neither–but it was far from amazing. A bit mundane, with little to no surprises.

The sad thing was, that apart from the 4 songs on their album that are particularly good (the two aforementioned tunes plus “The Youth” and “Kids”), the audience (or at least I) seemed less than impressed. There’s something about MGMT and their reoccurring jam band-style musical freakouts that just don’t come off as particularly interesting or aurally stimulating. In those moments, when bikini-clad girls rode on the shoulders of male companions, swaying back and forth, and the swells of overzealous guitar solos took hold that the concert felt like a bad hippie trip meets Lollapalooza. Scary, I know.

Really, what would an outdoor concert be without inebriated teenagers and dirty old men clamoring to take their photos?

In fact, many people cleared out of the Pool even before the encore–and the lengthy callback was met with lukewarm appreciation until the band segued into a karaoke-style version of “Kids”–simply playing a pre-recorded loop as they sung over it. (OK, minus the guitar solo toward the end and semi-front man Andrew VanWyngarden hiding under a tie dyed blanket, tinkling on the keyboards.)

“Fame! I’m gonna live foreeeevverrrr!”

But all that said, the day totally rocked–much in part to the phenomenally upbeat vibe that the Ting Tings set from the start.

Celebs on hand were not out of the ordinary: Sean Lennon, Agyness Deyn, Kirsten Dunst, Alex Kapranos, er… John Norris??

What she doesn’t know is, he’s not Jack White. What he doesn’t know is, she’s not Lindsay Lohan.

More ovah at Heart on a Stick, Music Snobbery, The Music Slut

Published by Laura

I run The Modern Age.org

13 replies on “Ting Tings Rule the Pool, MGMT Not So Much”

  1. Loved the comment about the Jack/Lindsay doppelgangers! She was sexy though, I remember her.

  2. You live in New York and you love music.

    This Thursday 7/31 at 10pm Pale Nimbus plays Southpaw.

    My name is Matt and I manage the band. I want you at the show.

    If you come and don’t dig it, I will refund you the cover. Stay the entire set and if you still aren’t a fan, you can get your money from me: I’m easy to spot and the band will introduce me during the set.

    This is a new Brooklyn based band. They are my favorite in NYC and there isn’t anyone like them in the world. I told you first.

    With love,

    Pale Nimbus/Werewolves/The Meltdowns @ Southpaw
    Thursday, July 31 / 8:30PM
    $8 / 18+
    125 Fifth Ave. (Park Slope), Brooklyn
    R train to Union St.

    Facebook Invite: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=30201260489
    Pale Nimbus: http://www.thepalenimbus.com

  3. Pale Nimbus is currently in the studio recording their first demos. Until those are released, you can only hear their music live. We’re doing things differently. It’s time for change.

    I hope you’ll come out to the show at Southpaw on Thursday: you won’t be disappointed.

    Feel free to contact me at roundtablemgmt@gmail.com with any questions. I’d love to tell you more about Pale Nimbus.


  4. I just saw MGMT last thursday in Boston and they were amazing. However, I can understand how they would bring a crowd down, as they did at the show when they played a 14 minute song. Andrew even introduced it and it sounded like he didn’t even want to play it.

  5. mooooo I was at MGMT show in boston the first night and thought they were very very veeeeeery weak ie THEY SUCK.

    Like “wedding band plays the hits from 08” suck. The lead guitarist blues-solo wanking (over electro/dance music???) drowning out the vocals made me want to kill myself and others, and I LOVE Oracular Spectacular. So take that for what its worth.

    Saw ting tings 2 days later and they were one of the best live shows I have seen in……………… ever. ROCK IT KATIE

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