I drove up to Boulder and got in line with many others at this sold out show. The place was packed by the time I made it in, taking my place in front of the sound booth, everything in front of that point filled with expectant people. I forget who the opening band was, but I was not particularly impressed, my aching knee causing me to hope they'd end it and pass the stage over to Tame Impala.
A fantastic show that kept me moving for the hour and a half they were on stage, pulling me into their dream state with their psychedelic sound. Loved it!
Waited out behind the theater for the band to exit. One by one they did emerge, disappearing into their tour bus. The leader of the band, Kevin Parker, was surrounded by a pack of young women the whole way.
It was sometime after midnight that I found myself asleep in the back of the truck in a dark parking lot blocks away from the theater, awakened only by the arrival of people pulling in to attend Sunday morning service at the nearby church.
Tame Impala is a psychedelic rock project of Kevin Parker, from Perth, Australia and signed to Modular Recordings. The band came to prominence in 2010 with the release of their debut album Innerspeaker, and received critical acclaim for their 2012 album Lonerism. Their name refers to the impala, a medium sized antelope. They describe themselves as "a steady flowing psychedelic groove rock band that emphasizes dream-like melody."
Far from replicating the songs from their two albums, the live takes were stepping stones to even wilder, often face-melting, musical forays of swirling, fuzzy, layered synths and guitars. The music was augmented by multiple effect pedals with a stellar light show. And, the icing on the cake – that voice! Parker’s Lennon-like vocals sounded even better live than on record.
Throughout Tame Impala’s set, you heard plenty of other musical references, besides the frequently cited Sgt. Pepper-era Beatles. At times, you heard “colors”: Black Sabbath, Blue Cheer, Pink Floyd, even Tangerine Dream. Tame Impala’s all-too-short regular set ended with a shattering “Apocalypse Dreams” that was nothing short of majestic — all the band’s elements crashed the notes like thunder throughout the song’s climax. They encored and took it even higher, leading it off with “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards.”
Witnessing a show this sonic-minded, at a venue with near perfect sound, more than made up for the long time it took to get Tame Impala back to Colorado. Given Tame Impala’s rapidly growing fan base, let’s hope when they return to play a bigger venue here next go-round, it’s at Red Rocks … say, next summer.
Read it all here:
Download the whole 320 kbps show here: