Review by Meredith McLean
Photos by Zach Hogg
Brisbane was lucky to be the final tour destination for Tame Impala’s highly anticipated national tour. Their latest album Currents, which was released earlier this year proved to be a violently beautiful breakaway from the last LP Lonerism, and brought about feelings of awe and respect from Tame Impala’s fans. In the smoke and debris that cleared away after the initial force of the album’s release, the following tour was unsurprisingly completely sold out nation-wide.
THE OTHER GUYS
Touring with the band were support acts Koi Child and Mini Mansions. Koi Child is an accidental hybrid of Child’s Play and Kashikoi, bringing together electronic hip-hop and nu-jazz respectively into a smooth and soulful mix of sound. The experiment was a success, and caught the attention of a well-known musician who goes by the name of Kevin Parker. One thing lead to the next and this groovy gang were performing on tour with Tame Impala with tracks like Slow One and Black Panda. A stone’s throw away from Tame Impala’s psychedelic style, Koi Child proved a perfect starter to the late afternoon.
By the time the sun was down Mini Mansions had moved in. It was high time someone ramped up the intensity and with songs like Mirror Mountain, the boys did just that. The LA based trio veered chaotically from pop to synth to shoegaze to glam rock and back again as the mood deemed necessary. They featured a lot of tracks from their latest sophomore album The Great Pretenders and by the time they left the stage the sudden abyss of silence felt like a black hole in the stage after their energetic performance.
THE MAIN EVENT
This was the first national tour for Tame Impala since 2013, and the time during the respite was time used well to deliver an incredible, more mature show. After opening with Let It Happen, it wasn’t until about halfway through the set that Kevin Parker had come to terms with his top billing at Riverstage, finding it hard to accept the sheer amount of people madly cheering and blanketing out the entire face of the Riverstage hillside.
Despite the heat, punters of all ages packed into the mosh pit, while further up even more fans used the spacious hill to dance with a fluidness of euphoria. Some fans simply chose to lie down in the grass and feel the bass channel through the earth into their veins.
As has become somewhat of a signature at Tame Impala’s shows, retro visuals on the big screen took fans back to the days of Windows media player and early iTunes visualizers. The riffs and experimental melodies that drifted on and on were an endless bliss. With ample time to explore their back catalogue, Tame Impala took the chance to move through other tracks on the new album like Yes I’m Changing as well as enjoying fan favourites like Elephant and Apocalypse Dreams.
But when they said good night and left the stage punters knew an encore was imminent. There was still a good 20 minutes of their set left and had some notable omissions from the set-list. Sure enough, to the crowd-led chorus of “One more song”, the band returned and Kevin Parker said “It’s probably a dumb question but do you guys feel like singing?”
The band lurched right back into Feels Like We Only Go Backwards. The crowd belted it out with the passion of a thousand break-ups and heart-wrenching relationships of the past that only an incredible song like this can erase. The show finished with an extended version of Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control. With a healthy dollop of creative license and the enthusiasm of a Kevin Parker still reeling at what he was experiencing, the extended version became a creature all of its own that began to feel time altering. As the last note died out and the echo of Parker crying “Thank you” faded, the crowd cheered.
And they kept cheering until the house lights went up.
THEY SAID IT:
-Kevin Parker was blown away by the sheer number of people crammed into Riverstage.
“Thank you all for fulfilling my dream”
-Anytime, Kev 🙂
WHAT IT LOOKED LIKE