Tame Impala @ Manchester Arena: a bold step

"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.

Tame ImpalaManchester Arena, Feb 2016
Tame ImpalaManchester Arena, Feb 2016
Tame ImpalaManchester Arena, Feb 2016
Tame ImpalaManchester Arena, Feb 2016
Tame ImpalaManchester Arena, Feb 2016
Tame ImpalaManchester Arena, Feb 2016
Tame ImpalaManchester Arena, Feb 2016
Tame ImpalaManchester Arena, Feb 2016
Tame ImpalaManchester Arena, Feb 2016
Tame ImpalaManchester Arena, Feb 2016

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Categories: Gigs, Live

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