Tame Impala at the Crystal Ballroom

For those who were amongst the very fortunate folks to get a ticket for Tame Impala‘s  sold-out concert Sunday night at Portland’s stunning Crystal Ballroom, they came away having enjoyed an sonically transformative experience. The Perth-born band, fronted by the ever-barefoot Kevin Parker, are so incredibly likable even outside of the fact that they’re one of the best live bands on tour this summer. They were born to play this particular brand of music together, and the enraptured audience rightly hung on every song. Tame Impala’s dense layer-cake of dreamy, psychedelic pop rolled over the audience in waves, Kevin’s vocals taking them on a trippy, aural acid trip. While the loss of Nick Allbrook on bass was a shame, their newest addition, the fantastic Cam Avery, has stepped into his role in Tame Impala beautifully. They played their latest,Lonerism, as well as their fantastic 2010 debut, Innerspeaker, almost in its entirety. Of particular note in their set, “Half Glass Full of Wine” thrilled the audience from the moment the first note was played. They don’t have the most energetic stage presence, but with a sound and discography like this, there really isn’t a lot of need for stage acrobatics. Essentially, the crowd was just fine watching them stare at their shoes as long as they just keep playing. Being in that majestic ballroom made everyone feel as though they were at a show that had been transported magically back in time forty years, complete with the flowing transitional colors, strobes, and other ’70s-centric light show experiences that fit the experience perfectly. The next time Tame Impala make their way to Portland, I hope their next venue will be Rose Garden, which is very appropriate for their growing fan base.