Concert Review: The Tame Impala Experience

Just over a week ago, on the evening of Wednesday March 9th, I was waiting on the subway platform for my friends, wearing Zebra pants and black heels feeling unbelievably overdressed as the slew of university students were coming off the trains. However, I could not wipe the smile off my face.  

words by Roshni

Tame Impala’s Toronto show of their Slow Rush Tour was taking place at Scotiabank arena, after being rescheduled twice, and my tickets from 2020 could not wait to be put to good use. Tame Impala is the psychedelic music passion project of Kevin Parker, an Australian artist. Parker is the sole creator of all of the music in the studio, but when touring Tame Impala consists of Parker, Domonic Simper, Jay Watson, Cam Avery, and Julien Baragallo! Their debut album Innerspeaker was released in 2010, and since then Tame Impala have released 3 more albums, totaling in 4 studio albums, with The Slow Rush (2020) being their latest release – and the album they are touring currently, and the album I was going to hear live that night.

Here’s a fun fact: If you live in Canada, concerts for the most part, have been completely non-existent for the last 2 years, with most artists rescheduling or cancelling their Ontario dates completely (I’m looking at you Harry Styles). However, with the COVID-19 restrictions finally being lifted, concerts have made a comeback – and with that, my attendance to them. And last Wednesday night, I was finally going to my first concert post-covid.

Stage visuals, with Kevin Parker singing
Photographed by Alexandra Puchiele // Instagram @alexandrapuchiele

The doors opened at 7 p.m., JUNGLEPUSSY opened at 8 p.m. and Tame Impala was set to start at 9 p.m. I arrived at the venue with my friends at around 7:15 pm, and there was a 15-minute line to get in. Once we went in, we went to charge our phones at a charging station – see I had been charging my phone while getting ready, only to realise it wasn’t charging at all, leaving me I barely had 30% to last me all night. It’s a concert-goers nightmare. We used this time to catch up, get some food, and check out the merch stand!

At 8 p.m. we went to find our seats, none of us knew the opener but were really excited to be back in the Scotiabank Arena after two years. Walking into the arena was mind-blowing, I had forgotten how big the venue was, and how many people could be in the same space at the same time. I was in shock walking down into our seats and marveled at the lights, the vastness of the pit and could not stop people watching during the opening act – I really could not get over seeing so many people in real life!!

Photographed by Roshni Khatri // Instagram @roshnikhatri_

The energy throughout the concert was electric. Everyone was having a good time. Hands were constantly in the air; everyone were dancing and there was more than one light show during the instrumental portions of the songs. Given the fact that the nature of Tame Impala’s music is more vibey than sing-along-y the visuals and lasers were extremely engaging and incredible.

Then it happened. The lights went dark. People started screaming and the intro video started playing. I was filled with adrenaline as the opening of “One More Year” started playing, and just like that the concert I had been waiting for, for over two years, had started. Parker played song after song, stopping to express his love for Toronto on multiple occasions, saying “we love Toronto, its so good to be back. We’ll be back sooner than you’ve had to wait for us”

Photographed by Roshni Khatri // Instagram: @roshnikhatri_
Stage visuals with a ocean wave crashing in the background
Photographed by Roshni Khatri // Instagram: @roshnikhatri_

Vibrant and pulsing songs dominated the night, with Parker singing most of his hits, including “Borderline”, “Breathe Deeper”, “Let it Happen”, “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards”, “The Less I Know The Better”, “Elephant” and “New Person, Same Old Mistakes” and even included a song off Innerspeaker, “Runway Houses City Clouds” presumably as an homage to its 10 year anniversary being the same year as the release of Slow Rush. Undoubtedly the strongest song was “Eventually”. This 5-minute song had the crowd going crazy, and I personally cried a little.

Surreal, almost spiritual moments occurred during the night, as confetti bombs were released and lasers lit up the air, there was this shared notion of community during the concert, and the atmosphere radiated pure bliss and electricity.

Heart silhouette made from hand, with the lights from the stage at the front
Photographed by Sofia Panziera

Overall, this concert was magical. The vibes were immaculate throughout the show, and I have never experienced such a beautifully charged energy before. My phone did die about 20 minutes into Parker’s set, but I don’t think I’ve ever felt more alive than I did during this show. Being so present was in and of itself a surreal experience, but Kevin Parker’s art was incredibly and unapologetically otherworldly. If given the chance, and if you are able to, I urge you all to experience the wonders of a Tame Impala concert once in your life.  

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