In a partnership with PopRally, MoMA will be hosting intimate musical performances in the museum’s Sculpture Garden every Thursday this summer. Yesterday’s event featured Brooklyn’s TEEN. During their sound check, the lo-fi psych pop group were already garnering attention from the museum’s visitors. Senior citizens, tourists and locals alike were intrigued by the impending show and many were hovering around, forming a mish-moshed queue to grab one of the few seats with prime viewing.
TEEN walked onto their marble stage donned in all-white outfits, effectively complimenting the museum’s aesthetic. But the band brought a touch of its own style too. Known for their conceptual music videos like “Carolina” and “Electric,” it wouldn’t have been enough for TEEN to just perform without the theatrics. Their stage was outfitted with a floral arrangement that popped out against the museum’s glass windows. Opening with “Electric,” TEEN showcased their blissful harmonies that reverberated perfectly throughout the garden, which had better acoustics than most New York City sound systems. During “Paradise,” the musicianship onstage was captivating and precise. Sounding as strikingly beautiful as it does on the record, the dream-pop song was totally enchanting in a live setting. TEEN’s vocal prowess just doesn’t falter.
Halfway through their set, because we were at the Museum Of Modern Art, things got very, uh, modern when performance art/body expressionist Megha Barnabas came out. She seemed to come out of nowhere, which isn’t surprising since a TEEN performance can be captivating. What was really surprising though was Barnabas’s outfit. Clad in orange flowers with two sunflowers strategically placed over her lady bits, a veil, gloves, and a fake mustache (which looked painful when she ripped it off her face) and holding a mini model pyramid, she danced, crawled, and gyrated to TEEN’s languid songs. At one point, the gloves and mustache came off to the tune of more erotic dancing—which probably has some higher, deep psychological meaning. The performance art overshadowed the band though, as I was too confused by the oddity right in front of me to focus on the music. Despite that, TEEN ended strongly with “Why, Why, Why” to massive cheers from the somewhat disoriented audience.