Tame Impala At The Riviera Theatre
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By Jenna Goode
Tame Impala kicked off their set at 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 10 in the ornate Riviera Theatre in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood. The crowd cheered as the Australian band slowly took the stage and picked up their instruments. Looking only at his bare feet, the introverted frontman/guitarist Kevin Parker played the opening riffs of "Endors Toi" to get the show started.
The music bounced off the theater's high-arched ceiling, which created an even more dramatic effect on Tame Impala's psychedelic sounds. "Groove and emotion go together," said Parker before the show. This statement rang true as the band continued the set with "Alter Ego," from their 2010 album Innerspeaker, which brought the first big improvisational jam of the evening and urged the crowd to scream for more.
Parker said few words during the set, except to express his appreciation to the audience or shout out song names. When he introduced "Half Full Glass Of Wine" the audience roared in approval. The song's bass line vibrated through the theater while Technicolor scribbles danced behind the band. Parker's solo during this song, although the slowest, was the most memorable. The scribbles dissolved into an image of the Milky Way where Parker appeared, playing his guitar. The celestial background added to the beauty of the solo.
"Elephant" was the song that garnered the most audience participation as they sang in unison, dancing and throwing their hands in the air. It was as if there was a collective agreement among the crowd to give up all pretensions about being too cool to dance at a concert.
Parker did take some time between songs to demonstrate how the stage lights were directly connected to the types of sounds he made on his guitar. For example, scratchy, wobbly sounds made shaky-looking shapes. Although the lighting was not necessary to make their set spectacular, it greatly enhanced the vibe.
For the encore, they came back strong with "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards," a psychedelic track from 2012's Lonerism. The vocal layering in the song sounded amazing with the echoes of the theater, and somehow added to the lonely quality of the song. The group closed the evening with "Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control," which highlighted each musician's talent. Even after the band left the stage the audience cheered for more. The fans may have not left on a tame note, but it certainly was a high one.
"Solitude Is Bliss"
"Music To Walk Home By"
"Why Won't They Talk To Me?"
"Desire Be Desire Go"
"Half Full Glass Of Wine"
"Why Won't You Make Up Your Mind?"
"Be Above It"
"Feels Like We Only Go Backwards"
"Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control"
To catch Tame Impala in a city near you, click here for tour dates.
(Jenna Goode is the Temporary Assistant for The Recording Academy Chicago Chapter where she works mainly on social media. Goode has interviewed artists such as Daniel Lanois and Henry Farag. Her previous works have been featured on the Chicago Chapter's GRAMMY365 blog and various others.)