Tame Impala have never been an easy sell.
A psychedelic group from one of the world’s most remote cities, their sheer talent and extraordinary music has pushed them from Perth, Western Australia across the globe, with leader Kevin Parker becoming one of the most sought after production talents on the planet.
Tonight – June 8th – is the final stop on their current tour, and the final show for some time with drummer Julien Barbagallo. Set to head off on paternity leave – it’s good to know that even in lysergic realms workers have rights – there’s a palpable release of energy onstage, the sound and sight of a fantastic band truly hitting their stride.
Opening with perennial Tame Impala launching pad ‘Let It Happen’ lights blaze around the arena, a sensory overload the scorches its way out into the London night. Moving into recent single ‘Patience’, the band click through several gears, this purring, interlocking engine working with real finesse.
‘The Moment’ is an early highlight, with ‘Mind Mischief’ descending into a hallucinogenic jam. The band are shrouded with a square of lights, and it’s tempting to see them as hemmed in by a boxing ring – there’s a bristling energy onstage, the sheer physicality of sound hurling itself up into the rafters.
‘Elephant’ is given a bruising overhaul, the shuddering riff taking on Led Zeppelin proportions. ‘The Less I Know The Better’ sees Kevin Parker preening into the microphone, before delving into the catalogue for ‘Love/Paranoia’ and ‘Yes I’m Changing’.
‘Borderline’ is stretched out, the band exploring new facets, their finely honed chemistry testing out fresh ground. ‘Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind?’ is a suitably epic closer, but they’re only teasing fans, Kevin Parker leading the band out for a deeply felt run through ‘Feels Like We Only Go Backwards’.
Ending with ‘New Person, Same Old Mistakes’, it feels as though every single person in the O2 is on their feet, with the energy more akin to a club environment to an indie rock show. The effects have this rare degree of exactness, with Tame Impala sounding effortlessly in control even at their most ragged.
A bombastic yet ruthlessly lucid experience, Tame Impala leave to the roar of the crowd – it’s the sound of the band reaching a bold new level.
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