TVD Live Shots: Tame Impala at Echostage, 6/6

Before Tame Impala arrived to perform on Saturday night, men in white lab coats made their way through the dim light and haze to frantically dial in effects, turn screws on a couple of machines, and make sure all the wires and plugs were tight. I’ve actually never seen stage-techs dressed like mad scientists before, but perhaps it’s what a band like Tame Impala needs to keep their edge.

When the Australia-based psychedelic-rock band Tame Impala took the stage at Northeast DC’s Echostage, they were treated with a warm welcome from an anxious audience. The fans in the first few rows even held signs bearing the title of their favorite songs. One patron in the very front even brought an impressively drawn sketch of  the band’s front-man, Kevin Parker.

Touring to promote their third studio album Currents, set for release in July, Tame Impala unleashed a barrage of songs from the band’s ample repertoire upon their DC audience.

One of the most notable traits of Tame Impala’s live sound is the convergence of old and new tones. While the band is in fact manually driven, the electronics are a huge element to their style. The feel and emotion of their sound as a whole is reminiscent of eras past, with a specific nod to some ‘70s fuzz. This retro sound is carried over to the guitar parts in which some lines sear and cut right through the overall mix. The vocals follow the same method and at times lay perfectly on top of the hooky grooves.

One of the most dramatic elements of Tame Impala’s live presence is the constant and beautifully put together light projections and back-lit heavy light displays. Their ‘70s inspired color palette and wide array of graphic elements set the tone for the venue, bringing a cohesiveness among the music and the players. The last time I saw Tame Impala perform was in 2013, and although the graphics were prevalent, it has become a larger, more intricate part of their show:

SETLIST | Intro, Let it Happen, Endors Toi, It Is Not Meant to BE, Why Won’t They Talk to Me?, Mind Mischief, Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind?, Eventually, Elephant, Be Above It, Oscilly, Alter Ego, Apocalypse Dreams,

ENCORE | Bass Drum Symphony, Feels Like We Only Go Backwards, Nothing That Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control

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