Show Review: Tame Impala @ Emo’s (12/1)

What was supposed to be a small gig on a Wednesday night at Emo’s Inside sold enough tickets to warrant a move outside.  Tame Impala with Stardeath and White Dwarfs and Kuroma was going to be out in the cold.  I, for one, was happy with the move thinking the show wouldn’t be terribly crowded, but I was wrong.  Quite a draw.  Read on for more…

I was a bit late to the doors as a friend and I had to catch up over a few beers at Casino.  When we walked in, Kuroma was in the throws of finishing up what was, judging by the crowd, a pretty solid start to the evening.  I enjoyed the closing track with just enough time to snap off a few of the front man and keyboards player.

Following Kuroma was Stardeath and White Dwarfs.  They kicked things off with a tremendous blast of fog (my sinuses dried promptly) and then a subtle lead in to get the crowd settled before blasting the crowd with a heavy bridge and stage blinders set up behind the drum kit.  Met some good people up front, got some pics, made my way back and took in a few of the band’s best tracks.  “I can’t Get Away” was a natural stand out, followed by “New Heat”.  Fringed shirts and fluffy boots on front-man Dennis Coyne did not get in the way of solid sounding set.

After clearing all the extra lighting, Tame Impala quietly took the stage.  Simple white lighting was all that was needed.  The opening track, “It’s Not Meant to Be”, took the crowd captive and the band really did not let go anywhere along the way.  “Solitude is Bliss” was a strong follow to the opener.  The “psychedelic hypno-groove melodic rock music”, as they describe it, would then weave its way around their catalog which is primarily the creation of Kevin Parker.  The stage-front was split, Kevin and Dom Simper were on far corners, with the rhythm section, bass player Paisley Adams (aka Nick Allbrook according to the intarwebs) and drummer Jay Watson, side by side in the middle at the back of the stage.  Kevin even used a Kazoo for a song.

There was a little interaction with the crowd.  We learned that Austin is Tame Impala’s second favorite city, really it is.  We also learned there would not be an encore.  The focus stayed on the music; these guys played well together.  “Desire Be, Desire Go” was another of the highlights for me. But it was the epic closer of “Half Full Glass of Wine” that left everyone standing stunned, but hoping for more.  They were true to their word, no encore, but what could have been better?  It was a huge sweeping jam, breakdowns, build-ups and a great finale.  My friend tweeted he thinks they would have filled arenas in ‘75.  I was three, I’ll take his word for it, but they can certainly play.  I have been on a lucky streak for shows lately and I am glad Tame Impala did not break that streak.

Even more fancy photos can be found on the Brian Gray website.

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