Tame Impala ... seductive and mysterious on stage.

Tame Impala ... seductive and mysterious on stage.

TAME IMPALA
Enmore Theatre, December 13

AFTER at least a dozen times seeing Tame Impala live, I can finally say I get it.

Too often, they've stood like limp fish on stage in the festival sun. Too often, their echoey guitars fall flat and empty. Too often, I've been left wondering how a band so good on CD can be so underwhelming in the flesh.

This time, they didn't do much more but, somehow, it was awesome.

Five young mop-heads writhed around as lazy guitars and electric riffs reverberated off the walls of a sold-out Enmore Theatre. A giant screen projected neon scribbles and trippy graphics on a dizzying loop as every young grommet and faux hippie girl from the northern beaches jumped up and down in a sweaty mess.

They've made much of their fame as a laid-back '70s festival band but indoors, the sound came into its own.

Desire Be Desire Go built into a hectic, thumping climax with acerbic guitars ripping through the room viciously. The bridge slowed, the guitars rose siren-like and then, amid the mess of a wild instrumental, the recognisable riff peeked through again and pulled us back in sublimely.

Some attempts to mix up classics with anarchic instrumental deviations felt misguided but others ramped up the vibe in stunning fashion.

New material from Lonerism - voted by NME as the best album of the year - was wedged between massive hits and irresistible riffs of tracks like Half Full Glass of Wine and Solitude Is Bliss.

Of course, the long-haired, skinny-legged men on stage appeared to do little more than all those unspectacular times past but there was something electrifying in the room.

The back lights cast long shadows over the band, rendering them silhouettes and making the usual limp fish routine seem more seductive and mysterious than lazy.

Everything ebbed and flowed spectacularly. The warbling guitars wriggled right under your skin. The nonchalance was just right and there was the palpable buzz of zeitgeist in the room. Yes, I get it.