Tame Impala is touring in Europe this summer, with performances at Glastonbury and Lowlands, among others. What can we expect from their live shows? Their first performance of the year at Coachella can give us some indications. Spoiler alert: it’s going to be magnificent.
The Australian psychedelic rock band are also set to perform at Pukkelpop and Primavera Sound. Two festivals at the opposite spectrum of the summer, so the setlist might change a bit by August. But in the meantime, what did we learn from their Coachella performance?
1. The Setlist
The first thing that crosses our minds is that the setlist is not so different from the last tour. Indeed, it is still heavy on Currents, but maybe this is preferable to having songs unknown to the festival goers. Also, Currents is a masterpiece and has some great moments. They added the two new singles, ‘Patience’ and ‘Borderline’, and did not forget older bangers like ‘Elephant’ and ‘Mind Mischief’.
2. The lights and the lasers
Kevin Parker has always loved a well-produced show. The band’s performance at Panorama Festival in New York was a good example: when a festival can offer them a great production, they will go for it, and go big! The Coachella show was even bigger, better, more colourful. With a huge amount of lasers, it was visually mesmerising. The large (very large) screens also helped to set the psychedelic vibe.
3. The Gossip moment
Exactly midway through the set, right after the song ‘Apocalypse Dreams’, the band members left the stage and ‘Gossip’ was played on tape. It was a surreal moment for the festival goers. It was like a psychedelic version of a psychedelic song, coupled with the colours circling in front of them. That moment became even more special when, right after it, the band came back and played their most crowd-pleasing song, ‘The Less I Know the Better’.
4. New Person, Same Old Closing
Another crowd favourite is ‘New Person, Same Old Mistakes’. The song from Currents was also the one Tame Impala used to close their shows on their previous tour. Why change something that works? Some of the spectators will be first timers anyway. Maybe the new album will change the setlist, including the ending, but in the meantime, the crowd can leave a Tame Impala concert with a big, big smile.
Vocalist and guitarist Kevin Parker and bassist Dominic Simper formed the band Tame Impala as 13-year-olds in Perth, Australia in 1999. In 2007, Jay Watson joined them on drums and backing vocals. That was the time when their music moved beyond the frames of Parker’s bedroom. After posting numerous tracks on MySpace, Modular Records showed some interest in the band and signed a contract in 2008. During the same year, the Australians released their self-titled debut EP. Since then, they have released three studio albums and are, according to Parker, currently working on the fourth. They are the most popular psych pop group in the scene and have worked with some big names such as Mark Ronson.
Glastonbury is a five-day festival of contemporary performing arts that takes place in Pilton, Somerset, England. Aside from the performing musical acts, the festival also hosts dance, comedy, theatre, circus acts and other activities. Glastonbury is considered to be the largest greenfield festival in the world, with around 135,000 attendees. It was organised for the first time in 1970 and since 1981, the festival takes place every four out of five years. After a ‘fallow-year’ in 2018, the festival will return this year.