‘Tame Impala’ must surely have misheard when someone suggested a name for their band. (‘No, I said ‘Lame’. ‘Lame Impala’). Anyway, ‘Tame Impala’ they are. And whilst they may look like Hanson, four years on, do not be fooled, for this bunch displayed none of the vigour or passion of the lanky haired Hanson boys for us last night at The Metro on George St.
At one point during one of their dirges, my husband rather generously commented, ‘They sound a little bit like Blur’. Perhaps. If you are listening to Blur 20 metres below sea level. At a million decibels. From inside a whale.
‘Look’, he went on to say, ‘The bass player is even trying to be like Alex James’. I pointed out that the lad before us is likely only to have ever heard of Blur whilst flicking through his mother’s CD collection, though sure enough with his floppy hair and Bambi legs, he bore more than a passing resemblance to the heartthrob of my teenage years. Cringingly.
Luckily, the Tame Impala set ended before I was able to find some electrical wire long enough to hang myself.
So, on to the main event – the New York Group MGMT. Dynamic, passionate, exciting. Just some of the words which will not be featuring again in this article. They began their set promisingly with 2008’s anthem Electric Feel taken from their debut album Oracular Spectacular. This livened things up a bit after the monotony of the Impalas, but the energy was unfortunately short lived.
A few kids at the front tried to get into it by waving Zippo lighters around but with song after song plodding along, they were forced to put them down for fear of melting their nail varnish.
Just as I thought I could escape, MGMT came back on for a two song encore, playing the Soulwax remix of their 2008 offering Kids. During this, the band disappeared, leaving two vocalists to sing over the backing track. As they were singing, they removed all of their kit from the stage (maybe, we thought, to demonstrate that there weren’t many instruments used in the remix). Perhaps they were trying to give a two fingered salute to the fans of the remixes by highlighting how little work has gone into them. Who knows? Who cares? Yawn.
The most thrilling thing about the entire evening was the relatively short queue for taxis at the end of it.
This tour is a promo show for their new album Congratulations which is due for release on 11 April. Based on the half-arsed performance I witnessed last night, I won’t be rushing out to buy it.
If my raving review has left you panting for more, then tickets are (shockingly) still available for tonight’s second and final gig.
– the ‘Congratulations’ Tour, Metro Theatre, George St, Sydney -