Three albums in and why Tame Impala are so well liked is still a mystery to me. I say that as someone who bought the first couple of albums to try to work out; it reminds me of when I bought the Wolfmother album to try to understand what that fuss was all about. I guess it’s funny how Australia keeps producing these retro bands, The Vines, Jet, Wolfmother, Tame Impala, and so on, although at least/somehow Tame Impala have made it past one album before everyone was embarrassed that they ever liked them. As with their first two albums, Tame Impala’s 2015 release, Currents, make it into most of the music publications’ top albums of the year in the weeks after this show.
It’s not just the albums though, having seen Tame Impala play live a bunch of times, they’re just a boring live band. Requesting to photograph tonight’s show is another case of me looking for them to impress on me why they’re so popular and how they’ve managed to sell out The Riverstage. A few weeks later I finally get to see King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard, and they’re amazing, so much better a live band than Tame Impala, and, given all the hype, what I would expect Tame Impala to be if I had only read about them but never actually heard them. Is it just that the Lennon-style vocals appealing to all those bearded, middle-aged, male rock critics who are tied to rock music’s set-in-stone canon?
At least being the Riverstage, it’s an early show, possibly too early as I need to be there to meet at 5:45pm to photograph Koi Child. As mentioned above, the show is a sell out but whereas normally photographers get to stay for the show, this time we just get our three songs before being escorted out the venue. In those first three songs, Tame Impala fail to impress. Would it, could it have been any difference if I’d got to see the entire set?