Sundays in Hamburg are usually a dull affair; restaurants, pubs and clubs close up for the day and the city streets are empty as people retreat to their homes for a day of rest. Germany shuts down. This particular Sunday is a different affair, however. There is a buzz in the air and life on the streets around Hamburg’s ‘Hauptbahnhof’. The reason: Tame Impala are in town.
The venue ‘Mehr! Theater’ is an intriguing, modernistic building that looks like some kind of airline hangar with hundreds of Hamburgers gathered to catch a glimpse of Kevin Parker and co. The Australian outfit’s 3rd LP Currents proved to be one of the most critically acclaimed albums of 2015. It took the group in a slightly different direction from their previous two releases, focussing more on the electronic, synth-pop side to their sound, rather than the guitar based psych-rock that occupied most of their first two records.
Any doubts that the German crowd may not react as well as an English speaking one are quashed as the opening bars of 3rd album lead single ‘Let It Happen’ are met with a roar. The band have such diverse material now that the set changes greatly from one song to the next, ’It Is Not Meant To Be’ being a beautiful calm before the storm of ‘Elephant’ which comes with a thumping Kevin Parker guitar solo. The infectious guitar beat of recent single ‘The Less I Know The Better’ is a highlight along with the synth blast of first album favourite ‘Alter Ego’.
The light show is astonishing throughout, especially on encore starter and smash-hit ‘Feels Like We Only Go Backwards’. Confetti and colour fill the sky, but what shines brightest are Kevin Parker’s mesmerising vocals that are just as perfect live as they are on record.
‘New Person, Same Old Mistakes’ brings the concert to a cool close as the confetti covered crowd head for the door. The omission of brash breakout single ‘Half Full Glass Of Wine’ and the upbeat, guitar fuelled ‘Desire Be, Desire Go’ are, perhaps, the only disappointments in an otherwise pretty much faultless set. The reaction from Germany is a positive one and these Australians have proved that their live performances are anything but tame.