Brixton Academy, London, October 30th 2012
Bad tidings from psychedelic central - Tame Impala are a yawn live. The set was chock full of great songs - 'Solitude Is Bliss', the glam stomper 'Elephant', the genius of 'Feels Like We Only Go Backwards', 'Lucidity', 'Desire be Desire Go' - but after the initial rush of seeing them in the flesh it all rather fell flat.
The impressive but cacophonous sound they make is just too much to fully enjoy over an hour plus. I can only conclude that manufactured reverb + natural arena reverb = a bit of a mess. There was no life to the music - from the first note to the last the sound remained the same. And annoyingly the prog-iness of the songs are more apparent in this setting than on record, where the pop melodies still dominate. What's more the dancing light backdrop was a sixth form attempt to be cool. Surely they can afford a decent psychedelic lightshow to accompany their performances these days?
It is great news that Lonerism is being embraced by so many people. The songs deserve it. The endearingly humble Kevin Parker spoke about this being the biggest show they've ever done, and later on stating "This is going so much better than I expected". Funnily enough, I didn't share the sentiment...I can't even put it down to a bad mood, for I was laughing and joking as I entered the building. So in spite of two albums of stunning brilliance I remained strangely unmoved last night. Was it just a bad gig with bad sound, or is it that they're perhaps (whisper it) a one-trick pony? I must go figure.