Photo by Amanda Hatfield for Brooklyn Vegan
When I got to Music Hall of Williamsburg last night to see Tame Impala
's impromptu show, I have to admit that I was filled with doubt. Tickets for the Australian group's set at the undersized venue sold out almost instantly. And outside, it looked more like the waiting line for a swanky club than a psych-rock show. I was rapt with questions. Was this show worth all of its buzz? Was Tame Impala going to be as epic as the drunk and/or foreign fan boy promised to me it would be? Has every Australian I've ever met smelled really good in the same indiscernible way? The answers may surprise you.
From the moment that the five band mates of Tame Impala came onstage, they demonstrated expert communication with each other. Although none of the members had an especially captivating stage presence, it was fun to watch their interactions with each other -- laughing at playing specific parts, matching each other note for note on certain guitar solos. It's clear that this band has a blast playing together. Someone threw a rugby ball down from the balcony and everyone in the band (save the moody guitarist) passed the ball back and forth before fighting with the crowd about their team allegiances.
Tame Impala played most of the tracks from their debut 2010 album Innerspeaker
, with songs like "Alter Ego" and "Solitude is Bliss" getting well-deserved bursts of cheers from the absolutely packed house. They mixed in some promising new tracks, including one of the set highlights "Elephant."
Comparing the new single to the songs from their first album, it seems like they are aiming for an even heavier sound with their next album Lonerism
, which will be out in October.
Even though they're still such a young band, Tame Impala seems to be talented and dedicated enough to make a lasting career out of their swirling psychedelic hard rock. And judging by the way the crowd was with them from the first song, it looks like the venues are only going to get bigger from here.