May 04, 2011 – Yuck / Tame Impala @ Lincoln Hall, Chicago
When my friend Rhea told me she had an extra ticket (thanks Rhea!) to the sold out Tame Impala show, i‘ll admit I ran to my laptop to try and find out who they were. But once I saw that Yuck was opening for them I didn’t care who they were and said yes. I’ve been digging Yuck’s self titled debut album since it came out at the end of Feb and was hoping to catch them live at Pitchfork Music Festival this summer.
London based, Yuck features Daniel Blumberg, Max Bloom (both formerly played in Cajun Dance Party) along with bassist Mariko Doi and drummer Jonny Rogoff and captures the frayed noise and hooky, guitar-driven melodies of the late 80’s early 90’s rock of bands like Dinosaur Jr., Jesus and Mary Chain, and Sonic Youth. The comparisons are easy to make but with the live set I saw, their sound easily stood on it’s own. Having toured with Modest Mouse, Dum Dum Girls and Teenage Fanclub, on stage they were confident, poised and assured from the start with the blistering Holing Out to the sonic epic guitar droning set closer Rubber, look for them to be headlining soon!
Not ever hearing Tame Impala I asked a few people in the audience what they sounded like. The most common response that I got was “Beatles-eque” – 70’s psychedelic with John Lennon-like vocals. Maybe that’s the impression you get on record, but live I barely heard hints of it, maybe it was the mix, but for me it was more of a groove driven trip-hoppy feel. Not that it was bad, but more so not what I was expecting. This four-piece band from Australia, features Kevin Parker (lead guitar and vocals), Dominic Simper (guitar), Nick Allbrook (bass) and Jay Watson (drums) and have built a huge fan base around the world playing outdoor festivals and stadium shows with bands like Muse, The Black Keys, and MGMT.
Live, the rhythm section of the band was amazing. The thick fat bass lines along with the tempo driven drumming kept me going, along with the youthful energy of the crowd who were totally into it. The vocals were cold and mechincal feeling, not the hints of “John Lennon” that I was promised, but overall a fun time, and the band seemed to deliver to anyone who was in the know. To me, the Stone Roses would be my ultimate psychedelic stoner band, but Tame Impala could be the one for the cooler, younger skinny jean crowd.
If you get the chance, check out both worthy bands – Yuck in a small club would be amazing and Tame Impala in an outdoor festival is where I think they would really shine, plus the crowd could really participate with their party style of rock, oh and where mood enhancers might be more available…