Tame Impala stampedes Copenhagen

***** (5 stars out of 6); October 21 at Lille Vega

The last time this reviewer saw Tame Impala was about three years ago. It was on the band’s home turf at an Australian festival, and while the music was great, it felt like watching a bunch of young stoners jam in their living room.

Monday night at Lille Vega was different. Tame Impala was very aware of their audience and they had come to perform, doing away with the self-indulgent extended guitar solos I had heard before.

Kicking off the proceedings with ‘Desire Be, Desire Go’, lead singer Kevin Parker braved the night chill in bare feet, using his toes to tap the pedals and twist the dials. A doe-eyed blondie in the front row shot him love arrows from her eyeballs all the while.

It was the Perth band’s first visit to Copenhagen, and Parker said they had spent the day walking around exploring all the “Lego and weed” the city had to offer. Parker later threw a Lego creation of his into the crowd, and fans scrambled for one of the splintered fragments.

A few retro amps and a scratchy light that had the effect of an old-school Windows screensaver set the scene for the band’s dreamy, psychedelic tunes. The dramatic pause in ‘Elephant’, off their 2012 album Lonerism, was memorable. After a long drum roll, the drummer bashed out a solo and the rest of the band chimed in for roughly four bars before the song came to an abrupt halt.

‘Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind?’ followed, as well as two other Innerspeaker tracks – ‘It Is Not Meant To Be’ and ‘Runway, Houses, City, Clouds’. At one point, Parker sagged onto the stage, played the guitar in his lap and, as if cued by the drums, leapt up before slumping down again—an impressive move.

The audience nodded and danced to the music’s reverberating drone. It was a packed room and everyone responded with cheers when Parker occasionally spoke, despite the microphone’s lingering distortion effect between songs. Some of the rowdier blokes – probably Australians – jumped about like jackhammers.

Unsurprisingly, the crowd called Tame Impala back for an encore. The band played an extended version of ‘Half Full Glass Of Wine’, definitely a crowd-pleaser, and rounded out a solid 80 minutes of quality music. And a couple lucky folks took home a souvenir – even if it was just a Lego man’s arm.





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