Trance-Heavy Tame Impala Show Hits All the Right Psychedelic Notes

Concert Review

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After the roadies — bedecked in lab coats, no less — finished setting up the stage, the lights dimmed and we were confronted with a buzzing green photon. It was enticing and warm. Thumping bass ramped up as the light danced around the stage, entrancing the sold-out crowd at the House of Blues. Soon, the light began revolving at such a high rate of speed that — to the dosed eye, quite surely — it appeared to form a single circle against the thrumming pulse of the bass. 

The lights played a crucial role in last night's Tame Impala show. Often exploding in time with a shift into a chorus or a dovetailing outro, the swirls of colors in front of and behind the musicians were part and parcel of the band's chilled psychedelia. 

An early highlight came during "It's Not Meant To Be," one of the band's sorta breakthrough singles here in the U.S. from 2010's Innerspeaker. In that song and others — "Be Above It," notably — it was hard not to recall the endless churn of "Pink Floyd Redux" sentiments that follow this band like acid tracers. And, yeah, I guess the comparisons are there. But — and this was my first time seeing the band live — there's nothing contrived about Kevin Parker's psychedelia. He's an earnest musician, and he's crafted an earnest and highly talented band. 

The crowd, as chatty as a typical HOB crowd tends to be, was into it all night: The new stuff played well, but you could tell these were fans of Innerspeaker and Lonerism — early-2010s classic both  — and that they were hear to rock out to the stuff they knew and loved. 

Setlist:

Intro
Let It Happen
Endors Toi
It Is Not Meant to Be
Why Won't They Talk to Me?
Mind Mischief
Why Won't You Make Up Your Mind?
Eventually
Elephant
Be Above It > Jam
Oscilly
Ciam
Alter Ego
Apocalypse Dreams

(Encore:)
Feels Like We Only Go Backwards
Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control 


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