Tame Impala Bent Time at Trippy Tuesday concert in Dallas
Tame Impala has a way of accentuating time that fixes your attention.
This is both obvious – there is an abundance of song titles that explicitly refer to time and its passage, such as “One More Hour”, “Eventually” or “Lost in Yesterday” – and subtle: a solo by extended guitar giving a moment to breathe, a single words spoken so frequently that they become a mantra, or a loop repeated so insistently that your own perception of time folds in on itself.
The time spent inside a comfortably packed American Airlines Center on Tuesday’s last scheduled stopover in the United States of the Australian export’s Slow Rush tour (taking its title from the 2020 album of the same name) s ‘elapsed in what seemed like a moment.
A cheeky pre-show clip for a fictitious drug called Rushium (a huge inflatable vial with its label was parked outside the room for selfie fans) underscored this point even further: “Improving the perception of time is something that fascinates us. a woman in a lab coat tweeted onscreen, whose voice quickly disintegrated into mud and static.
Barely shaggy-haired Kevin Parker, the feather-voiced gregarious architect of the woozy and Grammy-winning fusion of the rock, disco, psychedelic and electronic pop arena, took to the stage than the play erupted, ready. to get lost in the moment.
Kick-off with “One More Year”, from last year’s superb album Slow running, Parker, supported live by, among others, bassist Jay Watson, guitarist / synth / keyboardist Dominic Simper, drummer Julien Barbagallo and synthesizer Cam Avery, spent much of the next two hours orchestrating a calibrated sensory overload. .
Lasers and strobe lights ricocheted off the arena’s surfaces, amid continual fog and smoke, erupting confetti cannons and an LED video screen, spanning the entire stage, amid images evoking vintage screen savers on LSD. It was a visceral, dizzying catharsis – song after song eliciting raucous cheers and chants probably heard clearly in Plano.
“You are going to make me emotional,” Parker told the audience after “Eventually,” one of many moments of audience participation at the top of their lungs.
Tame Impala’s irresistible hooks often mask more sober lyrical observations – “Life is moving, can’t you see / There’s no future for you and me,” says a line in the magnificent “Yes, I change “- but that mix of melancholy and pop brilliance is powerful in concert.
The setlist ebbed and flowed beautifully, going from the funky strut of “Borderline” to the mind-blowing excess of “Apocalypse Dreams” to the superb punch of the main set “Runway, Houses, City, Clouds” and “New. Person, The Same Old Mistakes The opening of the encore “The Less I Know the Better” almost tore the roof off.
Parker was in a lovely voice throughout, his falsetto hidden in different layers but clearly audible – no small feat, considering the concussive and cerebral bass deployed throughout.
Admittedly, there was a tinge of strangeness when entering the arena and seeing the floor full of general admission ticket holders less than a week after the Astroworld festival tragedy in Houston. With attendees at Tuesday’s performance required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test, apprehension has grown from a potential disease to the specter of deadly lawlessness.
But here, too, Parker (who was scheduled to perform with Tame Impala on Day 2 of the ultimately canceled festival) indirectly acknowledged the grim events of the past and deftly went beyond: “Are we going to have a good time?” Are we going to look after each other? he asked, with vociferous roars, before tearing up “Elephant”. “That’s all I need to know.”
As the world continues to emerge from its pandemic stasis – an extended moment both hovered over and dragged on endlessly – Tame Impala has proven to be a band perfectly suited to its time. Alternately contemplative and rowdy, Parker’s music is an escape, but only barely. Call it a dance party for the end of the days.