Gig Review... Guards & MGMT @ Kesselhaus, Munich, 5th October 2013

Take an old factory hall with a spooky atmosphere and two of the most interesting bands on the planet and you should have a good evening.
And anyone visiting Munich's Kesselhaus with high expectations can't have been disappointed.
Guards kicked off the evening playing a short, but exciting set to a crowd who unfortunately either didn't know or wasn't really into the American band. Nonetheless their set was incredible. It had an instant feel-good factor to it and, packed with energy and positive vibes, the trio from New York made up for the disappointing acoustics, due to which few vocals were actually heard.

And then, of course, came the headliner for the evening. MGMT.
"I don't know how to begin", frontman Andrew VanWyngarden sings during the song "Weekend Wars".
And neither do I, such was the amount of creative mastermind thrown at the crowd by MGMT. Combining songs from all of their albums and even their best known song "Kids" (not usually performed live by MGMT anymore) with a visual show, which you can't help thinking Albert Hofmann played a part in, led to one of the trippiest concerts in recent years. Throughout the 90 or so minutes the band were backed by a constant stream of films showing something resembling a stereotypical LSD trip mixed with sweets flying through the sky, before finding their way though clouds into an ancient looking temple complex. No joke.
"Pictures on a screen [...]. Hey people, what does it mean?"
Picking highlights from an evening that is itself one massive highlight is difficult. But frontman Andrew VanWyngarden walking out on stage in his "Lederhosen", whilst drinking traditional Munich beer (the "Oktoberfest" ends this weekend in Munich) certainly endeared him to the fans.
Their first song "Time To Pretend" got the crowd going straight away and gave the venue a trance-like atmosphere which carried on through songs from all three albums right until their encore "Plenty Of Girls In The Sea".
One lucky girl was pulled onstage during a song from their new album "Your Life Is A Lie" to play the giant cowbell placed onstage, with the words "BE AWARE" written on it.

Throughout the whole concert I couldn't help thinking that this is a band now actually exploring that long-elusive dark side of the moon.
Luckily, even though the crowd danced until their hearts exploded, the place did not ignite.