In the first of two sold-out shows at Thebarton Theatre, Perth rock band Tame Impala gave Adelaide a glimpse at the future of Australian music — and it’s in very safe hands.
Since the release of the band’s debut EP in 2008, the psychedelic rockers with a penchant for nostalgia set the controls for the heart of the sun and with this year’s sonically searing album Currents, their third full-length, the band created something out of this world.
But it’s not only the music that has grown exponentially. Their live show, which Adelaide finally got to experience last night, showed a young band arriving at what will undoubtedly be the first of many peaks in their career.
As the lights dimmed and the band took the stage, the biggest roar was reserved for the arrival of frontman and principal songwriter Kevin Parker.
Almost instantaneously you could tell that the young crowd had formed a connection to the singer and his tales of moving on and heartbreak on Currents.
Kicking off the night with an apt instrumental jam, Parker said a simple “hello” before launching into prog-and-groove-heavy single Let it Happen as the crowd jumped along.
Mind Mischief followed from 2012’s Lonerism with equal joy from the packed crowd who were beginning to realise that things were getting awful hot, awful quick.
Leaning heavily on the aforementioned sophomore album and Currents, the set flowed like a catalogue of music from a band with many more releases and even more years under their belt.
Having seen the band a number of times over the years, the show last night not only showed Parker’s fantastic songwriting abilities but his growth into the confident frontman he’s shied away from being for years.
Throwing water and controlling the stage and audience, Parker has become more of an entertainer with this new material and it couldn’t work more perfectly.
The Moment had Parker using every inch of the stage as his voice reverberated around the theatre. He paused only to grab his guitar to belt out the song’s scorching hook.
Mega hit Elephant thumped along as iPhones went up and floorboards shook underneath the weight of one of the best Australian rock songs in years.
Reworked for the live show, the band are now throwing in musical Easter eggs for the discerning listeners, with a change-up right after the song’s epic drop that made the brilliant song even more enjoyable.
But the lighter moments such as the tender Yes I’m Changing, Cause I’m a Man and Eventually had just as much impact — whether it was Parker laying out his heart in front of his devoted fans or just the sheer brilliance of the slower psychedelic jams glistening under the coloured lights.
Latest single, which is currently getting a flogging on Triple J, The Less I Know the Better, had fans jumping, dancing and screaming along to every word — you could see Parker’s enthusiasm too.
Even his mum, who was dancing in the stalls above the stage all night, pulled out some pretty amazing moves, much to the crowd’s delight.
Returning for an encore, Parker asked for a thermometer and told the audience it was the hottest show the band have played in a while — he wasn’t wrong.
The theatre felt more like a sauna than rock show — but with a show like that a bit of sweat wasn’t going to deter the fans from lapping up every last note.
Anthemic slow jam Feels Like We Only Go Backwards had the crowd swaying and singing along and for many would have been the perfect closer, but Tame Impala aren’t your conventional rock band and in true style left us pondering over the brilliant psychedelic pop jam of Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control.
Adelaide witnessed a band at the top of its game, a game where they’re making the rules up as they go along and everyone’s a winner.
— the AU review (@theAUreview) November 18, 2015
— RIP IT UP (@ripitupAU) November 19, 2015
— hannah ☮ ⚯͛△⃒⃘ (@hannahrhiannonx) November 18, 2015
— Nick Grech (@nickgrch) November 18, 2015
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