Kicking off shows with the longest, and definitely one of the standout tracks from last year’s Currents, “Let It Happen” is a bold move – especially when you shower the crowd with confetti on the very first song. But, for Tame Impala, this was just an indication that they were there to party. The bulk of the night’s set-list came from Lonerism and Currents, but three songs from debut full-length Innerspeaker still featured.
Parker writes and records all of Tame Impala’s music on his own, and attempting to replicate his immaculately layered orchestra of sound live would seem a daunting task to even the most skilled of performers. But, not only do the Australian five-piece successfully carry out their on-stage roles, they manage to update and adapt their older sound and seamlessly coalesce with the new direction taken on their 2015 record.
“Mind Mischief”, in Kevin’s own words, turns from a “dreamy psych-rock number” on the album into a “funk, almost R&B Pharrell Williams kind of thing.” The solo in 2012’s Elephant, whilst not originally being a conventional one in the strict sense of the word, ended with an unashamedly cheesy disco breakdown you’d expect to find at a Fatboy Slim concert before returning to its stomping riff. Currents gets the same treatment as well – on “Let It Happen”’s latter half, Parker’s and Watson’s vocals are both run through a Daft-Punk reminiscent vocoder which serve to make the song just that bit more intense, and distance it slightly from its studio counterpart.
the best night of your life
We’ve so far neglected to mention anything other than the music (which likely sounds appropriate considering we’re reviewing a concert). However, what shouldn’t be ignored is Parker’s attention to detail in his light show. The entirety of the gig was supported by a complicated and intricately choreographed series of lights reminiscent of the band’s psychedelic music videos which complimented rather than distracted from the act, with Parker’s guitar work reflected through waves of light projected on the back of the stage. As a result, the band permitted a unique visualisation to the tracks we had only hoped to hear.
Tame Impala kept a tight grip on Alexandra Palace as the night unfurled, with Parker’s on stage ‘antics’ remaining fairly unassuming yet likewise charming: with thank-yous to the crowd and support act (Jagwar Ma), a small amount of on-stage banter and encouragement for the room to ‘clap along’ providing just the right amount of intimacy.
What caught us off guard specifically was the audience. Turning up to the gig, we rather naively presumed everyone attending would match our own ages. However, the band attracted a much larger demographic than we expected, with people present who had clearly purchased their tickets with money secured by their pension.
Despite these differences, the unifying presence was Tame Impala themselves, with a cohesive energy that reached a noticeable climax in their performance of “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards”. As soon as Parker’s distinctive vocals began, the room erupted (in sync with the confetti cannons) into an ocean of swaying hands that transported people on top of shoulders. The room felt entirely whole and ironically undermined Parker’s self-proclaimed ‘loner’ status; since this time company was bliss.
The only real problem we found was with the drink prices. A definite 10/10 for the show, though. I mean, if you can’t give the best night of your life a 10/10, what can you give it to?