It was a performance for the deepest Tame Impala enthusiasts.
It’s arresting to realise that Innerspeaker is over a decade old. Its creators, Tame Impala, arose from the Australian indie/psych rock zeitgeist of the early ’10s and for anyone currently in their mid-20s, Innerspeaker gave language and a distinct soundscape to the initial muddle of early adolescent emotions. Lyrics like “company’s okay solitude is bliss” felt revolutionary at the age of 13.
Lonerism lent a deeper, more expansive world of meaning and nuance further into adolescence, and Currents guided us through the immediate aftermath of high school, accompanying our first memories of adulthood. The Slow Rush was a timely gift during the uncertainty and overwhelm of the pandemic.
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It’s a generous and intimate offering to watch Innerspeaker performed in the very house that it was recorded in, in its totality. At exactly 7pm, the virtual waiting room dissolves, and fans are pulled into a breathtaking WA sunset.
The overwhelming sentiment in the live chat is how otherworldly the livestream felt, owing in great part to how mindblowing the location is. The sparkling Indian ocean was the backdrop to this one-hour performance, but it almost felt like the centrepiece of the show, as it totally transformed minute to minute reflecting countless colour combinations, shadows and visual treats along the way. It blanketed Innerspeaker in an ethereal, powerful atmosphere.
The performance was conceptually beautiful, as the album’s iconic opener ‘It is Not Meant To Be’ marked the beginning of the sun’s dramatic decline, and darkness finally settled in by the closer ‘I Don’t Really Mind’. Three of the band’s members were present in the cosy living room, with Jay Watson on a gorgeous violin bass and backing vocals, Dom Simper on additional guitar and synth, and French musician Julien Barbagallo on drums.
Parker was partitioned in his own space beside the open door of the balcony, his voice throughout embodying a lovely confidence. The tone itself was synthesised and clear, as opposed to the album’s more washed-out quality.
The livestream switched up between a stationary camera, and a handheld camera that swam through the space in dizzying rotation, getting up close to each member and capturing them from every possible angle. The livestream was homegrown, and it’s nice to see the behind the scenes, through the band’s eyes, with a few cinematographers wandering around the space working to capture the magic in front of them.
The occasional kaleidoscope filter was twisted onto the lens to accentuate the dreaminess of the performance. The livestream gave us the benefit of enjoying natural, candid snippets of conversation between the musicians, and there was even the occasional hazy look into the camera from Barbagallo.
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It’s obvious every song has been nurtured and held by the band for a decade, the performance demonstrating a hindsight and perception that adds even more character, aliveness and texture to the songs.
It was truly a special opportunity, to get a glimpse of the band in a homely environment they are so comfortable in; to perceive their closeness and relationships to the songs, and to look at the very interior space and beach that overlooked Innerspeaker‘s recording journey.
Parker was visibly at ease while playing; there was a sense of appreciation and calm to his body language. This was encapsulated best at the end of ‘Alter Ego’, where he turned around to look out over the ocean in its quiet beauty, streaks of pink glowing over the cool, still water, relishing in the pleasure of returning to a place where it all began.
Highlight: ‘I Don’t Really Mind’ returning to the ‘Runaway Houses Cities Clouds’ outro was truly epic.
Lowlight: Remembering the cold dark Melbourne weather compared to the t-shirt climate of WA.
Crowd favourite: There was a huge influx of love in the chat during ‘Lucidity’, which sounded especially tight.
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