More than any other late night show, the Late Show With Stephen Colbert has a set of directors and producers who are willing to play around with their format, to tinker and experiment without making a big deal out of it. In that, they had ideal collaborators with last night’s musical guests. MGMT, who just released their new album Little Dark Age, were on the show, and they are always down to mess around.
MGMT were there to perform their playfully zoned-out synthpop single “Me And Michael.” They sounded good, but the sound of the performance wasn’t the point. What stood out about it instead was the way performance was directed, as an homage to early music videos. The producers put filters on it, making the footage look as though it came from a battered and worn-out VHS tape. They used showy, kitschy wipes and even put the little MTV-style chyron in the corner as the song was beginning and ending.
MGMT also stuck around for an online-only bonus performance, this time without the time-warping effects. Instead, Colbert introduced them by talking about how he’d always pipe in music for the live audiences at his tapings. One song he said he’d always play was “Electric Feel,” a classic from MGMT’s debut Oracular Spectacular, which just turned 10. Along with Colbert’s house band Jon Batiste And Stay Human, MGMT gave a slinky, jazzy performance of the song. Watch both performances below.
Little Dark Age is out now on Columbia.