Live Review: Tame Impala, Mini Mansions, Koi Child

9 November 2015 | 1:28 pm | Guido Farnell

"A triumphant return to Australia after a summer of festivals in the Northern Hemisphere wins them much acclaim."

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It's an eclectic mix of entertainment scheduled to warm up for Tame Impala this evening. Koi Child is an amazing new band from Perth that effortlessly merge jazz, rock and hip hop into a deliciously smooth blend. Their easy cruising vibes with all that brass provide a sweetly chilled way to start the evening.

QOTSA's bass player Michael Shuman heads up a trio of dandies that call themselves Mini Mansions. They deal in urbane pop that's driven by slamming beats and lots of swirling synths.  After just a couple of songs, Mini Mansions start working a carnival-esque glam sound that brings to mind their kooky hometown heroes Sparks.

Remember all those times you saw Tame Impala and thought to yourself that they would rock the socks off a decent-sized stadium? Tonight the inevitable happens as the lads kick off their latest Australian tour with the biggest show they have ever played in this country. All 12,000 fans assembled at this sold out Sidney Myer Music Bowl show are primed for a good time and ready to be pulled far away from the shore by strong Currents.

This year saw Tame Impala drift away from harder edged guitars to embrace the lusciousness of rippling synthetic sounds. It's a move that seems to have brought Tame Impala a horde of new fans, without necessarily losing any of those who have been following them for years. Kicking off the show with Let It Happen unleashes a certain euphoric pandemonium within a crowd that squeals with delight. As the set progresses, it's evident that the psych-rock attitude has largely been replaced by woozy cosmic disco propelled by driving beats and the sweetest pop hooks. Every instrument holds its own space in the mix and the band's overall sound is truly achieved collaboratively.

Kevin Parker and his mates strike a few rockstar poses, but don't really project much presence. It's the immaculately polished mix that blasts out and a pretty, hypnotic haze of rainbow-coloured lights that connect with the fans at the top of the hill. At first they bring to mind compatriots Midnight Juggernauts but, as the set progresses, it all starts to feel a touch Pink Floyd. The obvious hits like Elephant, 'Cause I'm A Man and Apocalypse Dreams offer feelgood moments that have the crowd bouncing.

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Encores comprising rocked-up versions of Feels Like We Only Go Backwards and Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control suck us up into a vortex of epic psychedelic weirdness as Parker and his band momentarily break free and, cutting loose, dig into the jam to spectacular effect. A triumphant return to Australia after a summer of festivals in the Northern Hemisphere wins them much acclaim.