|Few bands have achieved superstardom as quickly and as convincingly as MGMT. A duo formed by two friends who met during their freshman year of college, the group has become synonymous with psychedelic music of the millennial generation. While they’ve attracted an incredibly broad fan base throughout their studio recordings and releases, they seem to be most widely embraced as a touring live act, having made a name for themselves on both the festival circuit and in arenas across the country. If you’re looking for an incredibly energetic performance of inventive, genre-bending psychedelic rock music, then purchase your MGMT tickets today!
While they’ve become a household name over the past few years, MGMT’s beginnings exist in a much humbler setting. The two members of the band, Benjamin Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden, met while they were both freshman at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. The two quickly bonded over musical groups that they both admired and decided to try their own hands at making a new sound. Both Goldwasser and VanWyngarden are multi-instrumentalists, but began by playing guitar together. They’ve said in multiple interviews that most of what they were playing at the time was something similar to noise rock or electronica, and that the style progressed this way until they finished their undergraduate work in 2005. Shortly after graduating, the two friends released their first EP, Time to Pretend, which was driven by the success of a psych-pop ballad of the same name.
Rise to fame
Time to Pretend, which was put out just months after the two individuals finished at Wesleyan, ended up being integral to the group’s rise to fame. The album caught the eye of numerous record labels as well as a plethora of high profile artists. Ultimately, Goldwasser and VanWynGarden were extended an offer to tour with the popular rock band Of Montreal in 2005 and 2006. Traveling across North America with the already established group allowed the two friends to build a fan base of their own, and MGMT began circulating more widely than ever before on the Internet and in local record stores. In order to produce its digitally enhanced sound while touring live, the group added four new members to the band while on the road: Will Berman, Matt Asti, Hank Sullivant and James Richardson.
The band caught another huge break during the fall of 2006 when it signed a deal with Columbia Records. Through this label, MGMT would release its debut, full-length studio album, the incredibly successful Oracular Spectacular. The album became a counterculture staple among the millennial generation, with hits such as “Pieces of What,” “Kids,” “The Handshake,” “Of Birds, Moons and Monsters” and “Time to Pretend” becoming anthems of that year. The album would go on to be ranked among Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of all time, coming in at No. 494. The group would follow up its smash hit album with two other records, Congratulations in 2010 and an eponymous record released in 2013.