Tame Impala - Live

Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker in action – Photo: Sasha Chebil

TAME IMPALA started to gain international attention with the release of their 2012 album Lonerism. The Australian rock band has since put out their third studio album, Currents, and they came to Berlin on Tuesday night to give the city a taste of their new compilation. Mastermind Kevin Parker fronted bandmates Jay Watson, Dominic Simper, Cam Avery and Julien Barbagallo in a show at Kesselhaus, as a warm up before they play Berlin’s first Lollapalooza next week.

Where are we?

Berlin has a way of converting withering spaces: a disused swimming pool becomes an underground club, wartime bunkers become museums, and chapels transform to the venue of choice for a decadent meal. On Tuesday night TAME IMPALA filled a venue that sticks with Berlin’s habit of reinvention: Kesselhaus at the Kulturbrauerei. The former boiler house for a brewery shut down in the 1960s and has since been transformed into a music venue. The industrial feel of the exposed concrete walls add a dated charm to the hall, and topped with a massive disco ball, it becomes the ideal place to listen to an intimate show by the band.

The best moment of the show

TAME IMPALA played a series of crowd pleasers from all three of their studio albums, so to narrow it down to a single moment is rather challenging. The guitars in Elephant, however, really stuck with us. The band breaks from the steady beat of the song for a synchronized guitar jam that shows their talent as musicians.

Tame Impala - Live

Tame Impala put up an impressive light show – Photo: Sasha Chebil

The worst moment of the show

Unfortunately, the band didn’t make much of an effort to connect with the audience. They hardly promoted the crowd’s enthusiasm, and the performance lacked nearly any breaks between songs. However, Kevin Parker’s voice, the band’s instrumentals and their mesmerizing light show encouraged the audience well enough.

How was the audience?

After touring the festival circuit in the states – Outside Lands, Lollapalooza, Governor’s Ball and Coachella – playing to a room of about 500 people is likely quite the change, especially when those 500 people are, for the most part, music critics and contest winners. The crowd was a bit more relaxed than their usual audience, and showed their approval in claps, rather than with dance. For example, TAME IMPALA started the set with Let It Happen, one that usually ignites the crowd, but in this case left the audience only bobbing along to the beat, though cheering at the end nonetheless.

Seeing Tame Impala live is highly recommendable. Their guitar jams, synth work and intoxicating voices provide the ideal show, when lined up with their light installment, fit for an acid trip.