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Feel the Rush on Tame Impala’s Slow Rush Tour

Written by on April 5, 2022

By Colin Nemeth

“There is staff present at this show who are distributing Rushium”, said a pharmaceutical company ad in front of thousands of people. “Be advised that Rushiums effects range from a minor expansion to large time

 collapses.” The message on the big screen has an almost hypnotic feeling, as the stereotypical pharmaceutical ad suddenly breaks down into a variety of colors and shapes. Below is a recording from another show:

This is Tame Impala. The leader of the group of instrumentalists on stage is Kevin Parker, an Australian singer, songwriter, and producer. What makes him so unique, is that every song he makes is completely his own– meaning he plays every instrument, and every single sound apart of the music comes from his own creation. This is what is truly fascinating to me, as well as many other of his millions of listeners.

The show started off fantastic, as the psychedelic music began to fill the room. The first thing I noticed was the intense groove that overcame the ground. Literally, I have never witnessed an entire stadium let go of their body the same way as they did. Hands in the air, hips moving, and bodies swaying, the Wells Fargo Arena became a dance floor. Truly, everyone was entranced by the rhythm.

Kevin, wearing a white t-shirt with large bold letters saying “A POEM” stood beneath a massive circular ring of colors. Out he yelled, “Let’s do this Philly!”

The first song was “One More Year”, and this song has an intense electronic feel. A perfect introduction, the light show matched every beat from the song. The lyrics of this song criticize our human nature in the way that we are stuck in a loop of monotonous repetition, and the problems in the world continue to get worse. But after all, we’ll continue saying to each other, “Let’s just wait one more year.” Parker told Apple Music: “Our life is crazy, but where is it going? We won’t be young forever but we sure do live like it. Our book needs more chapters. Our time here is short, let’s make it count.” I looked over to the fans, and everyone was feeling the music, even though the song is really dedicated to our shortcomings as a society. This is the brilliance of Tame Impala: the messages in the music are so developed, as is its musical relationship.

Following this song, more of his fan favorites such as “Nangs”, “Borderline”, and “Breathe Deeper” came. As incredible songs and fantastic light shows ensued, the stadium got even more excited. There was a definite build-up in the energy, and these songs got more exciting and louder. As said in the introduction, the “Rushium” high was definitely a big factor in determining the setlist, because the energy of the fans paralleled the excitement of the songs as they increased exponentially. You might think this was enough, but in a pause between songs, Kevin asked the fans if they were having a good time. With an obvious cheer, the crowd awaited what was next. Kevin then said something along the lines of, “I think it’s time to crank it up a notch.”

Indeed, this is exactly what he did. For the rest of my life, I will not forget the surprise of hearing “Elephant”, one of my favorites of his, engulf the atmosphere in the arena. The lights got stronger, the feeling intensified, and my friends looked at me in awe. How could this keep getting better? This song was insane, and it was obvious that the performers has a very high sense of confidence, as they cruised through the difficult song. Attached is a recording of another live performance of “Elephant”, and I encourage you to watch it.

The show ramped up, and the groove took a hold of me.

It is important to note that the crowd is a majority of teenagers and young adults, however, there was a much larger presence of older adults than I anticipated. It seems as though Tame Impala is a major player in many people’s music taste development. I was curious to see what fans were saying about the show, so I went to the Reddit page dedicated to the fan’s opinions.

One fan wrote why he became a fan:

“‘Elephant’ made it onto American alt-rock FM radio in 2012-2013 and I happened to hear it on there once. I immediately took to it, soon after went to the record store and got Innerspeaker, bc they didn’t have Lonerism. A few months later I saw the Lonerism tour with Tame opening for the National, on a couple dates in between their Peace & Paranoia tour with the Lips. I’ll never understand why that, but at least I got to be really up close and got the tour split 12″ & a tour T. That was like my 5th concert ever and my first alone.”

A fan even came in and posted a photo of him meeting Kevin before the show. I just imagine how the show was for him after this.

As the concert continued, and began to get closer to the end, I was continuously reminded of the privilege it was to be there that night. As it was one of the last stops of the tour until a two month hiatus, it was obvious that people were happy to be a part of the show. After all, the fans are a major component of the show. The music kept going, the light show was insane, and finally Kevin played his last song of “New Person, Same Old Mistakes.” This song is a classic, and you don’t even have to be a Tame fan to know it. The energy ramped up to a new level, and the slower, more sub-waving song vibrated our skulls. What a fantastic way to finish it off. And suddenly, the lights stopped, Kevin bowed, and the incredible show came to an end.

But, the fans began to scream for an encore, and back came Kevin and his band to the stage. He thanked everyone for coming, and stated that he could play two more songs. The lights went down, and over the speakers blared Tame Impala’s biggest hit: “The Less I Know The Better.”

In final, I want to emphasize that this show is an experience of a lifetime. I encourage everyone, regardless of if they are a fan or not, to go to this concert. Just buy the tickets. This show shook me for days, and I know that at whatever angle or seat you watch it, you will never forget it.