"Tame Impala? At the MEN? Really..?"
I'm sure when this show was announced, more than a couple of eyebrows were raised - It certainly seemed like a brave move. Not to do Kevin and the rest of the guys a disservice, as they are very much at the forefront of putting psychedelia back in the mainstream, but to announce a show at the UK's largest indoor venue to accompany the London date at Ally Pally seemed somewhat adventurous.
For a band to do a two venue tour isn't particularly rare, but to head for a northern venue twice the size of the iconic Alexandra Palace seemed, well, nuts. Surely there'd be better suited options for such a band band than the soulless giant concrete behemoth that overlooks Strangeways? A couple of nights at the Apollo, maybe? Or dust off the old GMEX? Maybe throw in a trip to the seaside with a couple of nights at the Empress Ballrooms in Blackpool? Somewhere with a bit of character, with a soul, not emblazoned with corporate branding. The show just felt like they'd bit off more than they could chew, surely?
Nah. I was wrong. As always.
Credit where it's due - the guys utilised the flexibility of the Arena to give the vast space a degree of intimacy, bringing the stage forward and closing of the upper tiers. The show itself was spell-binding, albeit a bit of a nightmare to shoot. The stage was awash with multicoloured projections, and hyper active ticker-tape cannons that gave the show a real carnival atmosphere. From where I was stood, the sound was spot on, and everyone on the front row were having the time of their lives. Yeah, there was a bit of empty space at the back, and the odd illuminated sign advertising a local radio station or a soft drink or something, but in the grand scheme of things who really cares? It was a belting show, and that's all that really matters.
I was a total idiot for questioning it. Of course Tame Impala were going to pull it off.