Tuesday night I got a flavor of Down Under, heading into DC to Black Cat to check Tame Impala, the Australians who sound eerily like The Beatles. It seemed appropriate, given the fact that Paul, John, George and Ringo had just been added to iTunes earlier that day, but Tame Impala brought an even more psychedelic aspect to the show, along with Stardeath and White Dwarfs and Kuroma.
When I got there, Kuroma had just launched into their set of MGMT-esque jams that sounded like a hybrid of Oracular Spectacular and Congratulations. The line up of a guitar player/frontman, two synth players and a live drummer was used effectively, and the band was able to lay down some catchy jams. However, I’m not the biggest MGMT fan so I was definitely not as into it as I could have been.
Stardeath and White Dwarfs laid down one of the most bizarre sets I have ever seen. Fronted by Dennis Coyne, Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips’ nephew, there were lights, strobes and smoke. At times, the furthest I could see was three feet, as the smoke was so thick and compounded by strobe lights, adding just a psychotic experience. Not to mention the fact that Coyne was wearing a tassled shirt and white, oversized furry ugg-like boots. Crazy.
Stardeath did lay down some sick songs to back up the interesting environment. One song in particular, a drum and bass jam, was just absolutely sick, no questions asked. Despite all the bells and whistles of the stage show, the songs seemed relatively simple, with a few blasts of synth here or there to change it up. It had an “out-there” feel, but it was nothing too bizarre or strange.
Finally, it was time for Tame Impala.The first thing I noticed was young bassist Nick Allbrook and drummer Jay Watson looked and how I couldn’t see guitarist Dominic Simper’s face. That being said, all interest in appearance disappeared when the music started. I am admittedly unfamiliar with the majority of the band’s catalog, but when bands are playing good music it doesn’t seem to matter.
The band, behind Kevin Parker’s vocals and Simper’s guitar, created a swirling environment that engulfed the listeners and spun them around through reverb and delay. The quartet seemed to sail through the cuts from Innerspeaker, pulling the audience along with them.
The most enjoyable moment of the night for me was the performance of “Solitude Is Bliss,” Innerspeaker‘s lead single, which brought back memories of flying through warm summer nights with the windows down and volume all the way up. The crowd had its biggest response to this track which was flawless. For the rest of the set, everyone was in a trance, watching this band do its work.
The band definitely extended a good number of their songs, but it didn’t feel like it, given the sonic atmosphere that was projected. Every member was deft at his craft and seemed to already know what the other was going to do. It was a tight set and the audience response was great.
If you haven’t picked up Innerspeaker yet or haven’t checked out Tame Impala live yet, definitely put it on your to-do list.