Perth locals Tame Impala haven’t performed in Melbourne for just over two years prior to their Sidney Myer Music Bowl gig on Saturday night, and boy, you could tell that the crowd missed their presence while they were gone gallivanting around the states.
Up first to delight fans were a band also local to sunny Western Australia known as Koi Child. Most onlookers appeared simultaneously bewildered and impressed with the seven-piece as they held a brass section, a bassist, a drummer and a rapper. By no means were they your typical support band. Their sound was jazz-infused and entertaining; the brass section of their performance stealing the show alongside with their dance moves that spun their solos into a sweeping knockout.
Representing the states were Los Angeles band Mini Mansions. Their stage presence held a friendly quality, prompting quite a few laughs and cheers when the three of them came out in suits. In juxtaposition to their banter, they were just very still onstage as they lacked a much-needed higher energy when they performed. Due to this visual and sonic lackluster, the audience shifted under weakened focus, even though their music was performed with mastery. The crowd didn’t seem like they were into the gig, purely through the comparison of liveliness and vigor Mini Mansions had to follow. Perhaps if they work on their stage presence and how to handle a larger crowd, Mini Mansions could be a real hit on the live music scene in Australia (or at least whenever they decide to drop by).
After not too long, Tame Impala tease us minutes before they arrive on stage with a few chords from the intro to ‘Cause I’m A Man’, causing audience members who had decided to mingle during Mini Mansions’ set to rush to their seats. The five-piece were five minutes late and keen fans noticed – most of the audience started cheering and chanting for them right on the dot of 9:00PM.
“It’s like out own festival!”
When they did begin, it was of epic proportions. The screen behind the band illuminated the stage with vivid green lights, and the band sauntered on out to a massive applause. The lights switched to a rainbow texture, and after a long instrumental and a Mario-esque “Here we go!” from lead singer Kevin Parker, they began with their near eight minute hit, ‘Let It Happen’. Immediately you notice with this song that Parker sounds a lot less smooth in his vocal tone in comparison to the study recording – but it worked well with the live sound for the band.
“It’s like our own festival!”, Parker laughs to his band-mates, gesturing to the sold out 12,000 person crowd before they carried on with ‘Mind Mischief’. “Tonight is the biggest Tame Impala show that it’s even been…” Parker told us, before going on to say that Melbourne has always been the band’s biggest and most fun city to play in. A couple of songs later, they arrive at ‘Elephant’ – the obvious crowd favourite, A few more along they woo’d everyone with their total crowd sing-a-long performance of ‘Feels Like We Only Go Backwards’, with cheers coming in at a rapid and secondary crowd favourite.
After a couple of selfies and hugs from fans the band finish up, and trust me – everyone is going to be waiting in anticipation for them to be back in Melbourne as soon as humanly possible.