Concert Review: Tame Impala, Nov 24, Horseshoe Tavern

Tame Impala

For those of you who follow my posts closely (I know that’s about 95% of this blog’s readers) you may have noticed my inclination to the slightly overzealous and enthusiastic.  The lowest score I’ve ever given a band on here is 3/5.

Enter bitter, disappointed Sarah.

Back Story – June, 2010

I liked Tame Impala before everyone else. Just kidding.  A friend’s Facebook wall post introduced me to this Australian psychedelic rock band.  Their debut album Innerspeaker quickly became one of my favourites of the summer.  These Pitchfork darlings have a unique rhythmic, psychedelic sound that channels 60’s rock bands like The Doors and The Kinks.

Fast Forward to November 24, 2010

I arrived at the Horseshoe cold and sober, but excited to find that this show was completely sold out.  Nice work boys!

They kicked the night off with It’s Not Meant to be.  Not the best opening I thought, but hey, maybe they just need to get into their groove.  From there things kind of spiraled into a psychedelic, reverb-laden, distorted mess.  Don’t get me wrong, I KNOW this is part of their style and it sounds ace on the album.  However this style did not translate well into a live show.  For clarity’s sake I will now compose a list of all the things I did not enjoy about the show.

  1. It was next to impossible to hear the vocals over the instrumentals
  2. The vocals I could hear were terrible, in fact I think all the effects actually mask the lead-singer’s sub-par voice
  3. There was way too much feedback
  4. At some points the vocals and instrumentals were not in sync
  5. The band had zero stage presence
  6. There was no encore (probably for the best)

In their defense, I don’t think that the Horseshoe was the best venue for this type of band.  Something larger with superior sound capabilities would have been better suited for this show, like Mod Club or Phoenix for instance.

Further to their defense, I saw a lot of people rocking out during the show and read some decent reviews from other Toronto bloggers.  One blogger even had the audacity to compare the lead singer to John Lennon, what the fuck is that about?

Lastly, I will still recommend the album, it’s excellent.  I especially enjoy the tracks Solitude is Bliss and I Don’t Really mind.  However, save your cash, save your ears, save your time because Tame Impala are extremely tame and underwhelming live.

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Posted on by sarahw in Concerts, Reviews

3 Responses to Concert Review: Tame Impala, Nov 24, Horseshoe Tavern

  1. Pingback: Best of 2010: Sarah F’n Wilbore’s Fave Albums and Shows | The Panic Manual

  2. jay vid

    I wasn’t at the toronto show, but i saw these boys play at the biltmore cabaret in Vancouver, and I have to say it was the complete opposite experience.

    they kicked ass, a perfect balance between loud roaring guitar rock and psychedelic breakdowns, with an awesome start-stop rythmic intensity that kept the entire place jumping and begging for more.

    and that unexpected cover of massive attack’s angel that they do was epic.

    dont know if it was a different performance or not, but i read this and had to comment. :)

    ps. hi sarah

  3. Billy

    “One blogger even had the audacity to compare the lead singer to John Lennon, what the fuck is that about?”

    Listen to some Lennon and you’ll find that the lead singer of Tame Impala’s voice is almost identical to Lennon’s softer vocals.

    The similarity is blatantly obvious upon first listen to Innerspeaker so i dont know wtf you’re talking about, or what band you must have been watching..

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