Article written by Chris Romano
Boston once again was lucky to see Tame Impala at its now annual music festival Boston Calling. In 2015, Tame Impala played the festival when it occurred twice a year. Now Boston Calling finds itself to be a premiere music festival in the U.S. with Tame Impala being one of the headlining acts.
Tame Impala’s performance was heavy on the Currents side of the setlist, but featured a much more comfortable and looser Kevin Parker heading the stage. Parker was unafraid to add some guitar flair here and there truly making the live show drastically pop from the studio recordings of the songs performed.
Longtime fans of the band were treated to some throwbacks featured on the Lonerism tours. During “Elephant,” the band did a disco breakdown like they used to back when it was their big single. It was a great nod to the fans who remembered experiencing that some six or seven years ago. Also, during “Mind Mischief,” the band transitioned into “Sestri Levante” as can be heard on Live Versions. This was more of an interlude than the version featured on that album, but it was so nice to hear it anyway.
“Mind Mischief” also featured a guitar part not featured on Lonerism. It was fast and snappy and just thinking about attempting to play it on guitar gives my fingers a chill of arthritis. This was one of the many moments throughout the night indicative that the upcoming tour will be less rigid in the performance Parker gives. “Patience” also featured some more guitar parts throughout the song.
With LP3, it seemed like the band was reserved in their performance to prove their professionalism. Now that LP4 is just around the corner (we hope), maybe Parker has found that it’s alright to change things up here and there in the performances. He’s also become so much more comfortable speaking with the crowd. Parker may have hinted at a music video coming out soon when he told the Boston crowd that he fell off of a roof while being filmed. There hasn’t been any other information about a music video yet, but this could mean another single is on the way in addition to the album announcement.
If LP4 is anything like the two singles “Borderline” and “Patience,” then I think it’s going to be received rather well. Boston was just waiting for these songs to be played. Though they don’t get the crowd moving quite like “Let It Happen,” everyone was singing along to both songs just as strong. Even some performers at Boston Calling were excited to see Tame impala; Anderson .Paak walked through the sound pit a few times with his band to listen and dance along to songs while waving to the audience members. A massive line of concert photographers walked to the photo pit to photograph and watch the band as well.
The light show, now a staple of the live Tame Impala show, was incredible. There were even more lasers than before at some of the 2017 and 2018 shows. New visuals featured Kevin Parker with light beams shooting out of his eyes, multiple eyes growing out of his head, and flashing lights timed to a siren-like “Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind” that probably warranted a seizure warning. And of course, the confetti has made a comeback. I actually can’t remember how many times the confetti was released because it was just such a magical experience that I lost count of how many times it rained rainbow colored paper from the night sky.
If anything, this Boston Calling performance solidified Tame Impala as a headlining act at any major festival. The band that used to open for other bands and would be found several lines down on a festival list is now the headliner at festivals and can nearly sell out Madison Square Garden in New York City. Parker has come a long way, and his superstardom is only about to get even bigger when Tame Impala’s fourth album is finally released.
Listen to the audio on the Facemelts Music Podcast here