Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be in a kaleidoscope? Last Saturday, Tame Impala delivered a performance that I would assume closely parallels just that.
The sold out Greek Theatre in Berkeley was filled with Tame Impala enthusiasts and Kevin Parker memes. Vivacious and alive, me and my crutches felt the vibrations throughout the amphitheatre and my torn ACL. It wouldn’t have been the same without Unknown Mortal Orchestra, who started the night off with song, “From the Sun.” Setting the tone for the night, lead singer Ruban Nielson scaled 40 feet up the light tower while singing “Stage or Screen.”
Loud, crowded, yet in a way, feeling at home, I was surrounded by 9,000 other people who were all here to experience the psychedelic Australian band. As one, we were joined together under the influence of Tame Impala, ready for the inspiration Kevin Parker had to give. To add to the vibe, tech and sound guys in white lab coats came out and set up. It was time, and one by one, members of Tame Impala began walking out.
Despite being on painkillers (while drinking a few sips of alcohol here and there), Parker succeeded in making this the best performance I’ve seen given by Tame Impala. He was personable and outgoing, however, I felt like it would’ve been more interactive had fellow members also participated in engaging the audience, rather than remaining quiet. Nonetheless, the stage performance overall was exceptional with Kevin Parker’s unorthodox background visuals. It was like he was playing a mind game on us while simultaneously performing.
Tame Impala succeeded in visualizing our inner thoughts, while playing an 18-long setlist full of insecurity and vulnerability demonstrated through Parker’s delicate yet strong voice. Tame Impala’s setlist for the night featured a variety of tunes ranging from all three of their studio albums, also including Mark Ronson’s “Daffodils.” Upon hearing a brief intro of “Nangs,” the night really took off with “Let It Happen,” with not a single person sitting. Tame Impala is basically a psychedelic second coming of Jesus if I’m being perfectly honest.
It felt surreal being there witnessing this band that has made such a great impact on many people’s lives, and it felt surreal being there with great friends who shared the same passion for this band with me. The sound Tame Impala gives us listeners a sense of belonging. While a lot of his earlier music focused on the isolation of being human, finding one’s identity and unrequited love, the transition to third album, Currents, gives us a sense of comfort in that it’s really easy to tell the confidence in Kevin Parker and Tame Impala. I felt this was a clear parallel at the show, as the performance in its entirety projected confidence and strength, in most all aspects.