Tame Impala’s approach to music harkens back to decades gone by; a time when musicians were sampling new sounds, new melodies and new hallucinogens. They are indeed a breath of fresh air amidst an alternative scene that can sometimes feel like the musical equivalent of Groundhog Day. But, lo! Here’s something with a twist. Packing a torrent of influences into their repertoire, it’s all you’ve ever wanted to hear and more. Tame Impala could be a modern-day Beatles in a 2010 version of their Sgt. Pepper days, with an audience just as dedicated (albeit without the crying, screaming and fainting.)
Rocking up to Adelaide, the boys from Perth faced an extremely well packed-out Gov; a testament to their following since the release of their self-titled 2008 EP, and 2009’s Sundown Syndrome.
With not a corduroy flare in sight, Tame Impala whisked their audience away on a wave of dreamy vocals, subdued chord changes and crunchy distortion, all completed by a mesmerising backdrop of visuals. Usually, a live gig is full of straining your neck and standing on your toes for a glimpse of the action, but tonight, we were just happy to kick back and enjoy the sunny good time sounds being fed into our ears.
It was the night before the release of debut album InnerSpeaker. Where Tame Impala have nailed the hazy approach, they’ve also mastered the art of the hook and the riff, such as with ‘Lucidity’, where lead guitar and bass imitate one another to a simplistic yet damn catchy result. Also previewed included album opener ‘It is Not Meant to Be’, and ‘Jeremy’s Storm’, where vocals are omitted and the song is much the dramatic solo work of guitar, background synth and incessant drumming. Tracks taken from their EP included ‘Sundown Syndrome’, ‘Desire Be, Desire Go’, and the fantastically full-of-anticipation ‘Half Full Glass of Wine’, which all became a trippy amalgamation, making this a non-stop reminiscer package of the most popular EP tracks.
For their final song, Tame Impala invited support band The Silents on stage to sing backing vocals to ‘I Don’t Really Mind’ – a song beautifully compounded with reverb and solo drums, harmonies and synth, bringing the night’s show to a captivating close.
It’d be hard to guess these boys are only two years young after this polished performance of their crusty, blissed-out sound. By the end of this gig, we’re so damn happy we don’t know what decade it is, and we don’t really mind either.