Kevin Parker and co deliver a perfectly adequate set in the desert that doesn’t feel like the classic it could be
“Hey, nice night, eh?” asks Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker three songs before the end of the Aussie band’s Coachella headline set. He’s not wrong – it’s a treat to see a band like Tame so high up the bill of a major festival, their biggest headline date so far, doubling in size on New York’s Panorama, which they headlined back in 2017.
But “nice” could also be used to describe how limited their set is, too. There is no big “wow” moment in the hour-and-a-half that Parker and co are on stage, neither a big, showy production splash or a killer track that will, on future listens, always transport you back to this very night in the Californian desert.
The idea of Tame Impala headlining a festival as big as Coachella is exciting. It says that it’s still possible, in an age where, in the mainstream at least, bands are less popular than pop stars and rappers, for a group to forge their own path of experimentation to the top. It should be a celebration of a band who’ve grown from cult concern to masters of their field. But, from the eight-minute ravey epic of ‘Let It Happen’ to the psych stomp of ‘Elephant’, and the squelching drift of ‘New…
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