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Tame Impala unleash a blissful fuzz assault at The Fillmore

Photos by Mike Frash // Written by Kevin Quandt //

Tame Impala with The Amazing //
The Fillmore – San Francisco
November 15th, 2012 //

Kevin Parker brought his psychedelic soundscape Tame Impala to The Fillmore last Thursday evening, continuing a well-sold-out North American tour. Touring off their second LP Lonerism has advanced their already stellar critical acclaim to new heights. The five-piece outfit cut through a career-expanding set with lysergic precision to a packed venue.

Any band honored with the opening duties for Tame Impala have some big shoes to fill, and in this tour’s case, those honors were bestowed upon Swedish act The Amazing. This new group spun out of Swedish jazz-prog band Dungen a few years ago, and they have released some impressive albums that fall somewhere between Gomez and Bon Iver. The group’s soaring vocals and guitar effects lent well to ease the crowd into the fuzz assault that would be the headliner.

Parker and his shaggy crew of sidemen arrived on stage and quickly launched into the Lonerism opening track “Be Above It”. From there, they jumped into the debut single
“Solitude Is Bliss” from their premier LP InnerSpeaker. Swirling guitars met a penetrating beat and the ever-present angelic vocals of Parker, almost defining the sound that he would craft into perfection over the coming years. A large backdrop behind the band was set ablaze by some sort of military-grade oscilloscope, creating a green kaleidoscope of hallucinatory visuals.

Yes, Parker is the primary source of writing and recording, but do not think that his touring band are minor players or unfamiliar with the frontman’s vision. Altogether, they could be easily confused for extras from Dazed and Confused, but this image fits well with the psychedelic garage band sound that they do so well. “Enders Toi” and “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” were highlights off of Lonerism, along with the first single “Elephant”, a weighty song that could summon John Bonham’s attention from beyond. “Mind Mischief” was strong as three-part vocal harmonies flexed the band’s tightness after months on the worldwide circuit. “Desire Be Desire Go” beckons a likeness to The Beatles at the beginning of their more mind-expanding days, both musically and lyrically.

They wrapped up the set with a lofty version of “Apocalypse Dream”, performed with lysergic precision. This song demonstrates some of the newer characteristics, mainly more keyboards and piano as a driving force to the backbone. From there, Parker launched into his trademarked fuzz guitar flight, it feels as if he has the ability to make time slow down as swabs of fans close their eyes in ecstatic bliss. Once he returns the flight safely back to ground, the band bows in appreciation and are off the stage.

Luckily, we were treated to “Half Full Glass of Wine,” which is an older fan favorite and clocks in at around 15 minutes after an extended jam, punctuated with a sublimely timed pause before catapulting back into the original riff. From multiple Tame Impala releases and work with side project, Pond, Parker is a busy Aussie. It is artists and creators like him who will be a true pleasure to watch mature over the coming years and likely decades.

Setlist:
Be Above It
Solitude Is Bliss
Endors Toi
It’s Not Meant to Be
Music to Walk Home By
Elephant
Feels Like We Only Go Backwards
Lucidity
Alter Ego
Mind Mischief
Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind?
Desire Be Desire Go
Apocalypse Dreams

Encore:
Half Full Glass of Wine

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