Watch Tame Impala Go Full Synthpop, Playing “Borderline” On Fallon
Tame Impala are not a rock band anymore. Kevin Parker’s long-running project might’ve started out making bleary-eyed psych-rock, but they haven’t really been a rock band in years. Over their last few albums, the band has embraced synthpop and disco and various other forms of non-guitar music. And last night, in their role as musical guests on The Tonight Show, Parker and his band practically made it official.
Last month, Parker played a Tame Impala Tiny Desk Concert. Along with longtime collaborators Jay Watson and Don Simper, Parker presented a version of the band that he called Tame Impala Soundsystem: Three dudes messing around with vast banks of synths and drum machines. That same version of Tame Impala were on The Tonight Show last night. Playing remotely from what was either a fancy rehearsal studio or an empty club, Parker sang “Borderline,” a song from the recent Tame Impala album The Slow Rush, while he, Watson, and Simper fiddled with all those electronics.
Tame Impala were never the most commanding or charismatic live act, but it’s still striking to see them in pure studio-gearhead mode. Whenever tours start happening again, if this is the version of Tame Impala that hits arenas across the planet, they are going to need to invest in one hell of a light show. Watch the performance below.
The Slow Rush is out now on Modular.