If the Fillmore Miami Beach seems like a small venue for a recent Coachella headliner, that's because it is. Fresh off headlining slots at Atlanta’s Shaky Knees and the aforementioned megafest, the Australian psych-pop sensation Tame Impala visited the Fillmore Tuesday night for an intimate first-ever show in Miami.
From the moment the concert was announced, something about it just felt different. Ravenous fans (and more than a few scalpers) immediately snatched up all the tickets, and scorned potential buyers begged for a larger venue or an additional show to no avail. Lines formed around the Fillmore hours before the performance, and the excitement in the crowd was palpable from the moment the doors opened.
More of a solo project than a true band, Tame Impala is Kevin Parker, the perfectionist mastermind who commands every aspect of the project's image and sound. When performing live, he’s backed by a group of old friends and hired-gun musicians, but it was abundantly clear he was in the driver’s seat every moment of this show.
Fans of his work have come to revere Parker as a singularly visionary artist, and the set he curated for Tuesday night did nothing to dissuade that notion. From the first notes of opener “Let It Happen,” the crowd was completely fired up, and what followed amounted to 90 minutes of unabashed cathartic spectacle. The energy of the sold-out crowd didn’t waver even during the night's few slow moments, and tracks from the first Tame Impala album were met with the same enthusiasm as new singles "Patience" and "Borderline."
It didn't hurt, of course, that the sound was close to perfect the entire show. The lush production of Tame Impala's recorded music was only amplified in the live setting, with bass rattling the floors in songs such as "Eventually" without diminishing the headphone-quality mix.
The visual aspects of Tame Impala's live shows are carefully curated by the ever-meticulous Parker and at times command as much attention as the music. Cannons showered the crowd with confetti thrice during the set, and trippy visuals morphed and contorted behind the band members, who were visible only as silhouettes most of the night.
In terms of sheer visual spectacle, Parker deployed perhaps his best trick in the middle of the show. For "Elephant," that song you’ve been hearing in commercials for the past seven years, the crowd was showered with a pulsating laser show, synced perfectly with the beat of the song. At the same time, the screen behind the band projected a monstrous silhouette of Parker firing lasers out of his eyes. For the money, that's about as psychedelic as it gets.
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Tuesday night was a prime example of a group of musicians operating at the height of their powers, under the direction of an extraordinarily talented musician with a precise vision. When you get home from a Tame Impala show and confetti is still falling out of your pockets, that’s by design: It’s Parker’s way of making sure you remember it was great.
- "Let It Happen"
- "The Moment"
- "Mind Mischief"
- "The Less I Know the Better"
- "Yes I'm Changing"
- "Why Won't You Make Up Your Mind?"
- "It Is Not Meant to Be"
- "Apocalypse Dreams"
- "Mutant Gossip" (Intro)
- "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards"
- "New Person, Same Old Mistakes"