Concert Review: Tame Impala and Mini Mansions at First Avenue – Minneapolis, MN – May 13, 2015
Published by JB on May 14, 2015
A 105-minute tai dai musical revue marked the incomparable return of Tame Impala (the brainchild of Australian rocker, Kevin Parker) to downtown Minneapolis. No band in recent memory does a more dazzling job of meshing its light show and its brain-altering sounds. As the colors dazzled away, the smell of pot joined the sonic grooves to glide the crowd into a virtual Tame Impala spaceship, commandeered by the elusive Parker and his searing guitar notes. Parker’s mix of early Pink Floyd stoner pop mixed with the tunefulness and look of the Flaming Lips is an attention-grabbing visual orgy. Sonically, Tame Impala complement the visual display perfectly, selecting the best tracks from Lonerism, Innerspeaker and the upcoming album Currents.
The timing of the show brings to light the interesting decision of some indie bands touring weeks and months ahead of a huge album release. In fact, no Tame Impala vinyl or CD was sold at the show – only clothing and some random pieces of flair. It seems untimely to not provide the sold-out crowd of 1800 (which exceeds the venue’s logical limits of attendance) to buy advanced copies of Currents. During the two hours that the crowd is most enveloped by the Tame Impala grip – there’s no music to buy. I already own Lonerism but I probably would have bought another copy via simply drinking the Tame Impala kool-aid all night. 1000 copies of Currents could have been sold last night at $10 bucks a shot on CD. This has to be a point of consternation for not only the band, but the fans – who in this short attention span generation may barely remember the show when the album debuts in late July. But whatever, the show was a stunning display.
Onstage, Parker’s looks and sexuality invite all types of crowd members to maneuver their way into the show. With his brilliant falsetto, swaying hips and emotive guitar playing he’s a one-man virtuoso in sexually arousing two-thirds of the audience. His blend of 2015 psychedelica (which he is slowly trademarking as his own), coy sexuality and brilliant live display is setting the stage for the subsequent anti-climactic album release. What could be one of the featured albums of 2015 should have been the ultimate souvenir from last night’s brilliant gig.