Not so Tame Impala hits House of Blues

Australia’s finest, Tame Impala, gave all in the house an early surprise by joining opening act Jonathan Wilson onstage for his final number. Wilson and his band had played a solid set, although for most of it I thought I was watching Stillwater.

It’s no secret Kevin Parker pretty much plays all the instruments on Tame Impala records, but after hearing them played by a band, he should reconsider for the next record. Parker’s songs in the hands of a band sounded far more dynamic than on disc.

The long-haired, barefooted Parker led the five-man band, sometimes playing on his back. He also had more effects pedals than I’ve ever seen on a stage before.

It was a multi-layered soundscape of psychedelic space-rock, as fuzz tones, hazy shades of John Lennon vocals, a (sometimes) twin Rickenbacker attack, and cosmic keyboards fought for space within the mix.

The set drew evenly from albums Innerspeaker and Lonerism, including “It Isn’t Meant to Be,” “Alter Ego,” and “Music to Walk Home By.” Also included was an extended jam of early recording “Half Full Glass of Wine.”

A huge video stage backdrop looked like a computer game invented by an acid casualty in 1967.

The ’60s vibe was taken a bit literally by some of the audience who thought no one would notice the smell after they sparked up a joint and were promptly busted.

Parker is no public speaker, conversing little between songs, but it matters not, as his music says it all beautifully. All left a sold-out House of Blues on a musical high.

  • Concert: Tame Impala
  • Date: May 31
  • Venue: House of Blues
  • Seats: Upstairs

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