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Arts and Entertainment

Tame Impala @ Silverlake Lounge, 6/29/10

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The lads from Perth had received a really warm welcome to Los Angeles. Their tiny show at the Silverlake Lounge had sold out so quickly that promoters quickly added a second earlier gig, and they had been added to the lineup to one of the Monday night residencies the night before. Not half bad, for a band who's debut album, Innerspeaker, had only dropped a few weeks prior. So was this lather and fuss over Tame Impala well deserved? Absolutely.

In the warm dark gloom of the Silverlake Lounge, one has to make a judgment call right at the beginning. Do you want to be able to see or do you want to be able to breathe? If you choose sight, one usually is mashed up among the sweaty masses at the front of the stage. If one chooses air, then you are left at the back, staring at the backs of the crowd and imagining what the show must look like. Fortunately that night in particular it didn't matter which option you chose because the music flowed over you like a wave of calm, so where ever you stood it felt pretty great.

Four young wiry guys with long hair took the stage and sent us all back to the summer of love (which is pretty amazing considering few of the people there were old enough to remember it.) The second they plugged in it felt like 1968 with huge swirling psychedelic guitar riffs that Clapton would be proud of, giant drums, and vocals that sounded exactly like the ghost of a young John Lennon. I mean, it's actually a little creepy how much lead singer Kevin Parker sounds like him.

The set itself was pretty short, which is not surprising considering they had just played three hours ago and there are only around ten songs to their repertoire. But the songs they did play they stretched out and embellished in ways that would make the most experienced jam band blush with envy. "Solitude Is Bliss" and "Desire Be Desire Go" became these giant soundscapes that were so vast and varied one could imagine entire solar systems contracting and exploding within their confines. It was heavy, man.

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However, the crowning achievement of the evening was their closing number "Half Full Glass Of Wine" which took this one repetitive groove which crawled into the base of your hips and made you shake. Whether it was sped up or slowed down the whole crowd shook their moneymakers in time to this one lick. It was an amazing thing to behold. It was almost uncontrollable. If Tame Impala writes anymore songs like that, they'll be able to control the entire planet through their hips. How's that for an evil world domination scheme?