Live review

Tame Impala, Alexandra Palace, London

13th January 2016

A carnival atmosphere that carries right through the evening.

For all his self-confessed control-freak tendencies, Tame Impala head honcho Kevin Parker is remarkably adept at letting loose. Taking to the humungous Alexandra Palace stage for a second sold-out night and diving straight into a thickened up ’Let It Happen’ that fills the cavernous space with ease, he relinquishes control from the off. All swirling, psychedelic backdrop and a sea of people clambering onto their friends’ shoulders, the obsessive nature of Tame Impala’s creation is cast aside, replaced by pure impulse. It’s rewarded with a show-opening shower of confetti, a popped cork on a carnival atmosphere that carries right through the evening.

It’s the streamlined Tame Impala of last year’s ‘Currents’ that conducts proceedings, that record having finally given Parker and his companions their leg up to arena-filling, festival topping status. Hazy, noodling numbers on record become ready-made singalongs, older cuts like ‘Mind Mischief’ and ‘Elephant’ stripping back the left-field fuzz in favour of a room-filling crunch. Impressively, Tame Impala even, er, tame Ally Pally’s notoriously echoey sound, every note crystal clear and delivered with a thump rather than ending up lost in the rafters like so many bands’ before them. Even softer numbers like ‘Yes I’m Changing’ and ‘Eventually’ become mammoth, heart-rending singalongs, every inch of the palace floor awash with outstretched palms.

Finally looking skyward rather than dragging their heels across their pedal boards, the way in which Tame Impala seize control of Alexandra Palace this evening is astounding. Flooding the hall with light, lasers and a deafening response to a closing encore of ‘Feels Like We Only Go Backwards’ and ‘New Person, Same Old Mistakes’, it’s less a step up and more a rocket-ship headed straight for the stratosphere. For a group so defined by the image of the perfectionist songwriter, agonising over his creations in the confines of his studio, Tame Impala’s latest guise is wonderfully confident in its every move, and all the more captivating for it.

(Photos: Carolino Faruolo)

Tame Impala, Alexandra Palace, London Tame Impala, Alexandra Palace, London Tame Impala, Alexandra Palace, London

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