Tame Impala brings psychedelic joy to Rishon Lezion
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Concert review

Tame Impala brings psychedelic joy to Rishon Lezion

With confetti cannons, trippy projections and rocking beats, frontman Kevin Parker & co. light up the summer night

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

The Australian band Tame Impala perform at Rishon Lezion's LIVE Park venue on July 11, 2016. (Judah Ari Gross/Times of Israel)
The Australian band Tame Impala perform at Rishon Lezion's LIVE Park venue on July 11, 2016. (Judah Ari Gross/Times of Israel)

The Australian psychedelic sensation Tame Impala rocked the Rishon Lezion LIVE Park amphitheater Monday night, dazzling thousands of whooping fans with songs off their latest album, “Currents,” along with a handful of tunes from previous records.

The band took the stage just after 10 p.m., kicking off the evening’s set with “Nangs,” the second track from their new album, released last year.

The short, mostly instrumental track gave way to “Let it Happen,” which electrified the crowd. Fans in the balmy mosh pit jumped to the rhythm and screamed for joy when the song’s confetti cannons showered the attendees with multicolored bits of paper

That type of theatrics, along with the trippy visuals projected behind the band, is a common element in Tame Impala performances, adding an optical component to the 1970s vibe generated by the music.

Tame Impala is the brainchild of Perth-born Kevin Parker, a multi-instrumentalist who creates the band’s albums almost entirely by himself. In the studio, Parker plays guitar, drums, synthesizer and bass, layering them together with vocals to create Tame Impala’s signature sound.

From left to right, Dominic Simper, Kevin Parker, Cam Avery, Julien Barbagallo and Jay Watson make up the Australian band Tame Impala, who arrived in Israel July 10, 2016, for a concert in Rishon Lezion the next day. (Courtesy Tame Impala)
From left to right, Dominic Simper, Kevin Parker, Cam Avery, Julien Barbagallo and Jay Watson make up the Australian band Tame Impala, who arrived in Israel July 10, 2016, for a concert in Rishon Lezion the next day. (Courtesy Tame Impala)

On tour, however, he is joined by Jay Watson, Dominic Simper, Cam Avery, and Julien Barbagallo.

From “Let it Happen,” the band moved to “Mind Mischief,” from 2010’s “Innerspeaker,” and “Why Won’t They Talk To Me?” off 2012’s “Lonerism.”

“I’m destined to be lonely old me. Whoops-a-daisy! I thought I was happy. O, why won’t they talk to me?” Parker wailed.

After the lamentation for social discomfort, the band launched into “The Moment,” a peppy song off its new album with a complex but infectious beat.

Parker, barefoot and dressed in skinny jeans and a Hawaiian shirt covered in giant flowers, told the crowd he was excited to be in Israel for the first time.

“You look beautiful,” he told the cheering fans, with a thick Australian accent.

The crowd skewed young and hip, with the majority of fans appearing to be in their mid-20s. Tattoos and piercings were common, and the skunky odor of marijuana infused the humid night air.

The heavy bass intro of “Elephant” induced yelps of joy in the semi-intoxicated crowd, which sang along with the psychedelic tune.

“He pulled the mirrors off his Cadillac — Yeah! ‘Cause he doesn’t like it looking like he looks back. He talks like his opinion is a simple fact,” the fans screamed.

Some members of the crowd came prepared for the band’s next hit, “The Less I Know the Better,” donning gorilla costumes and holding basketballs in a reference to the song’s surreal and sexual music video created by the production team CANADA.

(How can apes and sports equipment be sexual, you ask? The slightly risque answer lies here.)

Responding to the soupy July night, Parker admitted he “hadn’t sweat this much in a while.”

The 30-year-old Tame Impala frontman has told interviewers he does not feel that he has “the type of personality who could stand up in front of 6,000 people and get them revved up.”

And indeed, banter was kept to a minimum during Monday night’s performance, with just his introductory “glad to be here,” his comment about the weather and a farewell at the end of the show.

After Parker took a sip of water to cool off, drummer Julien Barbagallo played the opening beats of “Feels Like I Only Go Backwards,” the anthem of Israeli voters everywhere.

“I got my hopes up again. Oh no! Not again! It feels like we only go backwards,” the crowd sang along with Parker.

Tame Impala brought the evening to an end — appropriately enough — with “New Person, Same Old Mistakes,” the final track on “Currents.”

And to come full circle, a second round of confetti was blasted at the joyous fans with the return of the drums.

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