Live Review: Tame Impala, Mini Mansions

23 November 2015 | 11:08 am | Jake Sun

"It becomes apparent that as a live band they are in the most solid state they've ever been in."

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Brisbane's Riverstage is really quite the remarkable venue. The setting has the potential to elevate a performance to the highest of levels and tonight's lineup seems like the perfect fit for the surroundings. It's a sold out crowd, the hill is packed, and there seems to be a sense in the air that something special is about to happen.

Los Angeles three-piece Mini Mansions don't make many wrong moves tonight. All slickly dressed in different colour suits, they project themselves with great confidence and professionalism and they've got the sound to back it up. In fact their sound is so big tonight that one could easily mistake it for that of a headlining act. They create a dark vibe with the use of deep red lights and lightning effects and this onstage atmosphere really creates the right space for songs like Vertigo and Freakout! to excel.

The 9500-strong crowd works itself into a shared frenzy when Tame Impala come out and within a few moments the stage is lost in a colourful excitement of psychedelic visuals. Opener Let It Happen brings a wealth of delight, but also great relief that the band is not plagued by the same sound issues recently suffered in Sydney. On the contrary, they're blessed with the best sound one could have hoped for and they are pushing it to its limits. They do a little rewinding with Mind Mischief, Why Won't They Talk To Me, and It's Not Meant To Be and the songs have never sounded better. By the time they reach The Moment, five songs in, it becomes apparent that as a live band they are in the most solid state they've ever been in.

The trees around the venue dance with the river breeze, but the most profound effect of this breeze is the sensation it has on skin — couple this with the waves of dreamy melodies that are coming from Tame Impala on stage and you've got a hell of a magical experience. The bouncing chugg of Elephant is an invitation to get extra lively and most take up the offer whole heartedly. A shirt branded "Fuck Trevor!" is tossed onstage and held up right before the band launch into The Less I Know The Better — it and Yes I'm Changing speak volumes about the strength of the songwriting on Currents, but it's Eventually, the emotional core of the album, that says the most on this occasion. The existential heartbreak of desire, love and relationships is a recurring theme here but when put into the context of the live experience (and possibly the psychedelic experience) the importance of acceptance is communicated all the more.

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The slow lurch of 'Cause I'm A Man brings another highlight and a mesmerising rendition of Apocalypse Dreams, complete with massive outro jam, brings the main body of the set to a climatic close. Feels Like We Only Go Backwards and Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control provide the perfect encore and bring the performance to a close on a high note. The sense of openness and freedom that the Riverstage provides makes it such a well-suited venue for Tame Impala's music and one can't help but hope that they book it again next time. A truly special night!