Tame Impala land on the shores of Echo Park (6/28)

Since Tame Impala’s Innerspeaker leaked months ago, the buzz about it has been undeniable. It’s received good reviews virtually all across the board, earned them a spot opening for MGMT, and allowed them even some of their own headlining gigs. So, I don’t really get why the Silverlake Lounge was deemed an appropriate place to set up their first LA gig ever. With space for 200, this is the homebase for The Fold, a local promoter who also works with The Bootleg Theatre, Echo Curio, and others. But, as far a space goes, I am really surprised that no one anticipated that all this advanced buzz might bring some people out to their first ever LA show. And, well, it did. Which happened to be at The Echo. A night earlier. All those diligent folks who were on top of their shit and got tickets early, they saw the third Tame Impala show in L.A., as an earlier show was also added to the Silverlake Lounge. Yeah, a double header in indie. Who knew?

So the first L.A. Tame Impala show, suddenly, was on a different day, at a different venue, and, technically, wasn’t even a Tame Impala show, as they were the second band on at the Free Monday Night Residency at The Echo. Rainbow Arabia was the resident, but the crowd filled to capacity early for one reason: Tame Impala. Now, there are lots of successful Australian acts. Cut Copy, Silverchair, uh, lots, but they all just sort of look like American bands. Not so with Tame Impala. But I am hesitant to think this androgynous-hippie-who-might-not-be-fully-socialized look has to do with their homeland. I think it has more to do with drugs. Or maybe they are just weird dudes. Well, not maybe. They didn’t really seem fond of shoes, that’s for sure.

But awkward quirks aside, the music that these four guys make is quite cool. Sounding like the psychedelic records of the late ’60s mixed with the current dreamy nostalgic pieces that are so popular, they create an atmosphere all their own. Their set took a few songs to get kicking, but with “Alter Ego”, the band got more comfortable and even seemed to have a little fun. They were most comfortable on the older songs that closed the set for o, then “Solitude Is Bliss” (though it sounds a little too much like The Lips’ “The W.AN.D.” for my liking) got them everyone’s love, some jackass old guys started shooting flash photography, and the atmosphere started to resemble the psychedelic atmosphere that the music is created for. I was less than aware of the big picture, but there were multiple sound problems involving getting all the sound through the monitors and getting the keyboard to work, but their music can sound chaotic anyway, so none of it really took anything away from the performance.

For a free show on a Monday night, you won’t find better than the one Tame Impala gave. Echo Park can be a strange place when the 10 dollar cover/class level divider is removed and though the scummy turned out in droves, they left impressed and speaking about checking them out the next time they are in town. Of course, I didn’t have the heart to tell them they would probably have to pay for that. It will probably be for more than the 200 people they are playing for back to back as I write this. But they will be back, something not all bands can say after their first performance in this cutthroat city.

Desire Be Desire Go
Make Up Your Mind
Alter Ego
Solitude Is Bliss
Skeleton Tiger
Half Full Glass Of Water Wine

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