Tame Impala’s sold out show at Royale on Friday had both blissed-out psychedelia and crowd surfing--not that the two are mutually exclusive.
In recent memory, no other band matches their sound with their visuals quite like Tame Impala. The desaturated album covers of Innerspeaker and Lonerism perfectly encapsulate their classic reverb-drenched psychedelia—they were on the Instagram train before it spread like smallpox. And on Friday night at Royale, their live show’s simple, sinewy lights and blissed-out vibe extended that euphoric experience to the next level.
These guys are OGs at filtering reality.
Kevin Parker and his cronies from Perth exude an old school swag, from his black and white Rickenbacker to the long hair/skinny frame archetype. Touring in support of Lonerism, their stellar sophomore LP, they kicked things off with “Be Above It.” A study in two moods, it starts in dark, early Pink Floyd territory and brightens midway through to reveal a cheerful late Beatles melody. They followed with “Solitude Is Bliss,” a stunning single from their impressive debut Innerspeaker.
Although the music is low-key, the sold-out crowd’s energy was bonkers.
Crowd surfers rode the hypnotic grooves throughout the night, arriving on stage with Cheshire grins before jumping back into the fray. Parker gave the crowd a shout out, saying, “The last place we were didn’t give us half as much love.” Considering the last place they played was in Philly, my hometown, I’m a little ashamed about Illadelph’s lameness.
Soon after giving the hyped-up crowd props, they launched into “Elephant,” a blistering, bluesy jam—and also the first single from Lonerism. And unlike the album version, they added a drum solo and free jazz exploration. As Parker jumped into the crowd to do a little crowd surfing of his own, the band held it down onstage with various and sundry freaky noises.
After the churning intensity of “Elephant,” they chilled things out with “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards,” a killer track that stands out as my favorite, even though the album (and the show) didn’t have a clunker.
Chatty throughout the show, Parker asked towards the end, “Are you guys taking care of each other out there?” He didn’t say it ironically, but with an Aussie earnestness.
Tame Impala doesn’t just blow your mind with hypnotic grooves and mind-bending sounds—their humility is just as disarming.
Be Above It
Solitude Is Bliss
It Is Not Meant To Be
Music To Walk Home By
Feels Like We Only Go Backwards
Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind?
Desire Be Desire Go
Half Full Glass of Wine