Tama Impala at Alexandra Palace – Glass live review

TAME IMPALA are a band that made their name while thriving in Perth’s music scene ten years ago under frontman Kevin Parker’s wing. Now is a different story. They have gained international success and have recently had a song from their latest album covered by Rihanna, which is featured on her album Anti.

Parker has a handful of side projects and has a reputation for thriving in any musical situation whether it be with the band POND which he produces or his collaborations with Mark Ronson.

Despite having rubbed shoulders with music’s elite, the Perth band still manage to ease musical humbleness when playing their sold-out show to the 10,000 that gathered at London’s Alexandra Palace.

The five members of Tame Impala took to the stage under warming psychedelic lights before bursting into their synth anthem Let It Happen, from their latest album Currents. The crowd positively reacted to the noticeably heavier drum and bass sounds that roared out of the palace speakers, and in return were rewarded. A shower of colourful confetti was released into the air as the song peaked – an unexpected spectacle considering most bands save their big gestures for the end of their set.

The band have accumulated a catalogue of hits over the years, and played a cocktail of songs from all their three albums. The audience responded well to older, guitar-heavy songs It’s Not Meant To Be and Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind from their debut Innerspeaker.

Tame-ImpalaKevin Parker

The second half of the set offered some of the more delicate songs from the bands psychedelic catalogue. We saw a confident Kevin Parker abandon his guitar to sing the emotive Yes I’m Changing. Suddenly all eyes were on him as he clung onto the microphone looking vulnerable in front of eager thousands. Despite the size of the venue, Parker still managed to hold a sense intimacy that is normally only achievable in a smaller venue – we were on his wavelength.

As the night drew to an end and the band returned to the stage for their encore to play what Feels Like We Only Go Backwards before finishing with the more R&B influenced New Person, Same Old Mistakes.

Their closing song appeared to be an unusual choice, as many anticipated hearing the immensely dreamy single Cause I’m Man, but perhaps it was their way of telling us they are moving into a different sound, especially after their funk influence in Currents.

The night at Alexandra Palace was a clear sign that Tame Impala have advanced to the next level of musicianship. They barely addressed the audience – but it didn’t matter – the music did all the talking. The band played the gig with a fluidity that proved they could handle a bigger stadium venue with ease.

Tame-Impala 2A burst of confetti during Let It Happen

by Katrina Mirpuri

Images by Emma Viola Lilja