Tame Impala @ Toyota Music Factory, Irving, TX

Words and photos by Scott Rowe
What's better than seeing Tame Impala at either weekend during Austin City Limits?  How about seeing them perform at an 8,000-capacity amphitheater in Irving, TX, two days before their first weekend, headlining performance?  The sky has been the limit for Kevin Parker, the head honcho and brainchild behind Tame Impala, as the band's acceleration to full-blown stardom is in full bloom, showcased by headlining sets at Coachella and Austin City Limits.  These acclaimed festival slots are far removed from opening for the National at the South Side Ballroom, the last time I got to see Tame perform, which coincidentally, was another ACL spillover show back in 2013.  That show was my first introduction to Tame Impala and its psychedelic rock sound and matching visuals.  While I wasn't absolutely blown away by their performance, I was instantly a fan and thoroughly enjoyed their live set.  Fast forward six years and the band is nearing the top of the music world, but first, they made a stop of the Pavilion at the Toyota Music Factory to show why their climb up is legit.

As with every band I see live, I always make the comparison of what a band sounds like via their album track and what they sound like on stage.  When the album track sounds better, I am honestly disappointed.  I am not disappointed in Tame Impala.  While their production has increased in size and variety, their detail to the music has not wavered, despite having multitude of layers in each song.  The band opened their set with "Let It Happen", the opening track from their 2015 album Currents, which builds and fizzles, only to build up even larger and explode in a harmonious chorus of sound.  One would think that a produced track would sound better but Parker and company do an outstanding job to not only make it sound just as good as its produced counterpart, but the live instrumentation only beefs it up and literally cranks it up to 11.

It's hard to believe that Currents is Tame Impala's latest album, having been released four, long years ago but its music has not aged a bit.  The bulk of the show was pulled from Currents and their fantastic sophomore effort, Lonerism, making up twelve of the sixteen-song setlist.  Fans were treated to a plethora of their favorites including "Elephant", "Apocalypse Dreams", "Eventually", and "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards".  But the cream of the fan-loving crop definitely goes to "The Less I Know the Better", a song that's easy to sing to and even easier to dance to.  It's the song when people who would normally be taking terrible videos of a concert, put their devices away to scream lyrics at their best friend who is screaming them back.  The concert was a production wonder with clever visuals and pretty phenomenal lighting, complimenting the narration of each song's lyrics.  By in the large, their show has come a long way, proving that well-constructed pop/rock songs built around love and heartache can still fill the seats.  But in Tame Impala's case, empty them to dance.

Photos of the show are below:

Tame Impala @ Toyota Music Factory, Irving, TX Tame Impala @ Toyota Music Factory, Irving, TX Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on October 07, 2019 Rating: 5
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