Tame Impala at First Avenue with Mini Mansions

by Jackie Renzetti

Tame Impala delivered a seamless set of jams to a sold out crowd at First Avenue Wednesday night in Minneapolis.


It was their first show in town since 2013.


The band’s lead vocalist Kevin Parker said, “Hey, we played here before but there weren’t as many of you last time. That’s a good sign, right?”


Their opener, Mini Mansions, a California-based psych pop band, will continue touring with them through the end of this month.


“Hey, Minneapolis,” Parker breathed into the mic before warming up with the band, during which the crowd’s “woo’s” and excited chatter pervaded. Their sound-responsive multicolor, psychedelic light set accompanied their music.


Changing patterns occupied the screen behind them, and at times they used strobe lights.


The band dove into “Let it Happen,” one of their new releases off of “Currents.”


By the time they completed the extended jam, it was clear that we were all transported into the world of Tame Impala. The set continued with “Mind Mischief, “It Is Not Meant To Be,” and “Why Won’t They Talk To Me?,” in which Parker’s laments of a forlorn soul were only met with with more praise.


The band halted the slower tunes with a black out and resumed with “Elephant,” which probably drew the most physical reaction. Within the first few beats, everyone was already jumping and and singing along.


“Elephant” transitioned perfectly into “Be Above It,” which was accompanied by primarily blue and green lights, adding to the calm, entrancing atmosphere. Their live version was spacier and more drawn out than the recording, and the crowd was noticeably calmer and more stagnant.


Next, Parker flaunted his falsetto in “Disciples” (from “Currents”) and concert goers “woo’d” after almost every couple of lines. In “Alter Ego,” concert goers resumed their dancing – a frenzy similar to that of “Elephant.”


A middle aged man was spotted rocking out pretty hard from the balcony – rampantly bobbing his head and pointing over the railing. The excessive jam of concert goers fit the song, as Parker crooned, “the only one that’s really judging you is yourself.”


After Parker thanked the crowd again, they played another one of their new releases, “Eventually.” The summery, “Pet Sounds” reminiscent tune got the crowd clapping in time.


A couple people started hollering “I love you, Jay!”. But alas, Jay and the crew were busy tuning for the next song, “Oscilly.”


Somewhere between their last three songs – “Oscilly,” “Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind?” and “Apocalypse Dreams,” the music turned into a bit of an extended jam session, with everyone in the crowd dancing around to a cycle of the same steady 8th notes and chord progressions.


Tame Impala could have been playing chromatic scales, and the audience still would have been in their trance. At this point, illuminated circles emanated from the band, making for a whimsically dramatic addition to the simplistic, groovy tune.


After “Apocalypse Dreams,” the band abruptly left the stage. At no surprise, they calmly re-entered after a couple minutes of the audience screaming for more.


Parker took the mic. “This is a Julien Barbagallo Orchestra #73,” he said, clearly enjoying himself. “Make some noise for Julien.”


After a brief jam session, the band broke into two Lonerism songs for their encore – “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” and “Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control.”


Everyone continued to dance and sway to the melancholy tunes, which were delivered with joyful energy on stage.

“Thank you so much, fucking awesome people of Minneapolis,” Parker said before giving a dramatic bow. And one by one, the band filed off the stage.