"Nobody let go completely because the music was too quiet for that."
Excitement wasn't the only thing you could smell in the air before Tame Impala took the stage before the steps at one of Sydney's most iconic landmarks on Tuesday night. Bringing some of the world's foremost psychedelic rock back to home shores, people were expecting mega-god and frontman Kevin Parker to deliver the goods.
Indulging us with tunes from their three records Currents, Lonerism and Innerspeaker, the quality of the selection of tracks in the set was not in dispute. However, the volume was. Sticky Fingers put it best when they wrote on their Facebook page: "Shout outs to tame impala for playing some of the best music on the planet right now. But shame on Sydney for making it so quiet we might as well gone and spooned our grandmothers graves on the other side of the planet, silently jerking off, cuddling our teddy bears. Would have been louder. Cheers."
The whole point of psychedelic rock is to get lost in the sound, but instead of swimming in it people were able to have full conversations with the person next to them. Most missed out on that immersive element, and more than a few people were disappointed in the sound and the missed opportunity to fully enjoy the beautiful and multifaceted sonic landscape that Tame Impala has to offer. The best thing about Tame Impala is letting the waves of sound wash over you: getting lost in the layers of synth, guitars, bass and those catchy drums. Rather than this happening organically, Tuesday night was more about concentrating on enjoying the music, which was kind of counterintuitive. Nobody let go completely because the music was too quiet for that.
Inevitably, the volume issue negatively impacted on the otherwise fantastic atmosphere, with people chanting "Turn it up" repeatedly. After that, it marginally increased and with it came a more rolling thunder-like bass that the crowd were expecting, and tunes like Elephant were all the better for it - the crowd singing, dancing and losing themselves more in the music.
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Overall the night was not quite as good as other gigs that have been part of the Forecourt series. But the lighting and visual effects were fantastic, with thermal-like imagery and mirroring as well as the hallucinogenic visualisations that Tame Impala are especially known for projected onto a huge screen behind the band, mesmerising everyone.
Despite the lack of volume killing the vibe a bit, Tame made up for it by playing tracks like Let It Happen, The Less I Know The Better and Eventually - demonstrating that they are still coming up with inventive and solid tracks and have no intention of slowing down after releasing three amazing albums.
Capping it off with an encore that included Apocalypse Dreams and It Feels Like We Only Go Backwards the set was all killer, no filler, and all up, not a bad way to spend a Tuesday night.