A cyclone of pastel crayon colours created the perfect vortex of visuals to accompany the masterclass in psychedelic crescendos Perth five-piece Tame Impala delivered with effortless vigour as Kevin Parker brought his expansive brand of Lonerism to Dublin’s Olympia Theatre last night. Julien Barbagallo’s joyful happy-go-lucky approach to the drums provided the focal point on stage but his bouncy head and seemingly effortless movement couldn’t betray the level of musicianship on stage as Tame Impala filled every nook and cranny in The Olympia with swaths of intricate floaty motifs and coda after coda.
Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind? set the psychedelic pace with the rhythm section of Barbagallo and Cam Avery (bass) laying down a tight groove enabling Parker and Co. to build an expansive intertwining soundscape. But it was by no means ninety minutes of floaty rock ‘n’ roll. Parker’s guitar was about as polite as a Panzer tank at times laying waste to everything in its path through the frequent improvised jam sections. Solitude Is Bliss was an early highlight, Parker’s soft vocals resonating perfectly against the kind of groove many a band have been lost in the wilderness in search of to resurrect their careers. Keep On Lying continued the feel-good atmosphere with Parker once again setting his guitar to Panzer. The crowd duly responded by singing back the simple but catchy melody break.
The excellent Music To Walk Home By kept the crowd singing along with “it’s only when I think of you” repeatedly filling the air. The outro groove led into a reprise of Solitude Is Bliss, a technique which heightened the psychedelic experience with more a than a few “didn’t they already play this?” expressions visible throughout the crowd. Hit single Elephant delivered the kind of Jagger swagger that Maroon 5′s accountants can only dream of. Even grittier live than on record with bass and drums pounding home the hypnotic groove, but it’s Dominic Simper’s synth work which gives Elephant an added dimension.
Be Above It and Feels Like We Only Go Backwards exemplified the influence of the Beatles on Tame Impala, Be Above It tapping into the experimental leanings of Lennon while the superb Feels Like We Only Go Backwards provided the kind of blissed out moments of unity the assembled crowd had come to experience. Kevin Parker’s dreamy vocal combined perfectly with a bass-line reminiscent of Paul McCartney’s heyday.
An extended Apocalypse Dreams closed the first section of the show by attempting to send a sonic message into outer space before the band returns for an encore with It’s Not Meant To Be. Things are momentarily delayed as Parker dons an Irish flag, and a brief rendition of Olé, Olé, Olé breaks out before an extended version of Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything That We Could Control descends into a psychedelic mush of future memories.
Photo: Aaron Corr