Written by: Jordan Foster
Photography by: Sharon Lopez, Jennifer McCord, Lou Morris
After a stellar opening weekend spearheaded by the likes of Gorillaz and The Chemical Brothers, there was no shortage of hype around Tame Impala’s night at All Points East.
As thunderous rainstorms began to clear in perfect timing for the day ahead, Myd brought smiles to the BBC Radio 6 Music Stage with his set’s jangly centrepiece, ‘The Sun’. His seamlessly flowing DJ set consisted of serotonin-inducing fizzy French house, with a sparing use of well-known bangers towards his close. An upbeat warm-up, ahead of the night’s impending delights.
Atlanta-born Mattiel was then a palette cleanser in contrast to the frantic electronic beats in the spaceship-like 6 Music Stage. Her rich brand of country-tinged desert rock dripped with the sort of timeless, pastiche swagger of The Last Shadow Puppets.
The festival’s (tented) North Stage is APE’s melting-pot of atmospheres, intense production and cutting-edge dance music. The Blaze ticked all of those boxes in what became an eyebrow-raising set, with their catalogue of throbbing, immersive dance music translating perfectly to live format. The cousins – Guillaume and Jonathan Alric – who are widely known for their cinematography as well as their music, crafted an ethereal set which formed a crescendo around fan favourite ‘Territory’.
As fans began spilling into the main stage, bagging watch-points for the night’s closing acts, Caroline Polachek sub-headed the Main Stage with a rich, pulsating cauldron of song-writerly electro-pop, which featured the Connecticut-born pioneer’s biggest hits. Polachek’s soaring cover of The Corrs’ ‘Breathless’ did a particularly good job at engaging even the most casual onlookers.
The sense of anticipation became tangible, as London were minutes away from receiving this year’s UK exclusive Tame Impala date. The Aussie outfit of course, did not disappoint. Kaleidoscopic visuals melded beautifully with the band’s colour-drenched material.
The set was heavy with the lush synth-pop of more recent records Currents and The Slow Rush, full of velvet smooth chord progressions and ear-worm hooks. Be it the lo-fi, grizzly guitars on 'Elephant', the Daft-Punk-nodding breakdown on
'Breathe Deeper', or Kevin Parker’s wistful yearns in 'Eventually', it was sonically all so impressively devoted to the recorded versions.
By the time the squelchy and moody 'New Person, Same Old Mistakes' concludes the encore, the crowd sing-along became that potent that it almost out-gunned Parker’s vocals.
Although plastered in soulless commerciality, APE continues to rightly build on its reputation as London’s marquee set of day festivals. The lineups continue to be extremely well crafted, appealing to the alternatives as opposed to the masses, and unlike the maligned The Strokes APE 2019 date, the sound-quality was perfect on each stage. It’s a wonder how this year will be topped…