El Rey Theatre
Los Angeles, California
November 16, 2012
With only a simple screen projector, their instruments and a massive amount of pedals at the El Rey late last Friday night—a venue that always makes you feel underdressed with its massive chandeliers and ballroom atmosphere— Tame Impala, the psychedelic Australian project of Kevin Parker, took to the stage in triumph. Only a little over a month after the release of their still unmatched sophomore album Lonerism, the group consisting of Parker, Dominic Simper, Julien Barbagallo, Nick Allbrook and Jay Watson brought their unique brand of vibrant-dream-space-rock to a completely sold out crowd.
Without so much as a word as they walked onstage to the sounds of shrieks and the occasional “KEVIN YOU ROCK!” Parker and co immediately launched into their first number: “Be Above It”. The sweaty and unmistakably inebriated crowd erupted into cheers as Parker’s high voice addresses the audience in song accompanied only by the pounding beat of the drums: “And I gotta bide my time as a face in the crowd /And I know that I gotta be above it now.”
As the synths and bass exploded throughout the small theater with enough power to fill an arena, it was clear that Parker’s “biding time” was all up. His music is now a force to be reckoned with. This became especially apparent when the band jumped into “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” complete with a spontaneous sing-along by the entire crowd that seemed to surprise the barefooted front man himself.
Throughout the stellar set which included deep cuts and singles from Lonerism and 2010’s Innerspeaker, the five brilliantly recreated the psychedelic grooves and ethereal harmonies of their catalogue with only a couple of missteps including being unable to hear Parker’s adorable banter due to the mic levels. Even with these momentary lapses, the high energy in the room—on stage and in the audience—never faded and left us wanting more when the house lights finally came up.
“This was like the place to be you know?” screamed one fan at his friend to which he responded in awe and disbelief, “WE SAW TAME IMPALA!”
Kevin Parker is definitely not part of the crowd any longer; he controls it.
Tame Impala set list
01 “Be Above It”
02 “Solitude Is Bliss”
03 “Endors Toi”
04 “It Is Not Meant To Be”
05 “Music To Walk Home By”
07 “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards”
09 “Alter Ego”
10 “Mind Mischief
11 “Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind?”
12 “Desire Be Desire Go”
13 “Apocalypse Dreams”
14 “Half Full Glass Of Wine”