Sure-foot Aussies tame the stage to lame acclaim

Tame Impala
Store Vega, August 9

Australian psychedelic dream rockers Tame Impala were on top form at their concert at Store Vega Friday night. The Perth-based band are known for their eccentric forays into the hazy territory of psychedelic rock music and, having seen them perform last night, I can safely assert that this is one band that sounds just as good, if not better, live – a rarity in this modern day music climate.

Tame Impala went on stage to a sold-out, sweaty Store Vega under a backdrop of trippy visuals criss-crossing the  stage in shades of numerous colours. Guided by talismanic lead singer Kevin Parker, who went on stage barefoot, Tame Impala looked comfortable and at ease from the start, playing with a gentle, assured nature that enchanted more than it entertained.

Signature track 'Elephant' was one of the first of many anthemic tunes of the evening, a night that transversed elements of contemplative, dreamy content and jovial, unaccented moments alike. Smooth transitions in between songs, particularly at the beginning of the show, added a tinge of sophistication to the performance, which took on the feel of a live set rather than an incongruous mish-mash of songs strung flimsily together for the hell of it, as is the case with many concerts today.

Further credit is due to frontman Kevin Parker, whose outside-the-box musicianship saw him use effect pedals connected to his guitar to good effect, creating symphony-esque layers of complex musical arrangements that danced harmoniously together, with each verse adding a new dimension to the complex equation.  Adding to the experimental feel, the Australian quintet turned their backs on the audience midway through the show and strummed in synchrony with live visuals that were mimicking their quirky guitar plucks, gracefully slapping yet another touch of finesse to their performance.

Capping things off was one of the best stage exits I've seen; Tame Impala went off stage to the sound of a hollow drone vibrating in the background, before one of the band members came back with a torch, amidst wolf-like howls and encouragement from an audience that had hitherto been drab and boring (so kudos must be given to the one person brave enough to hold a lighter in the air during the show). One long encore later and Tame Impala left as they had came, exiting humbly, with the class and confidence of musicians comfortable in their element, flag bearers of the modern psychedelic rock movement.

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