Within the Mind of Kevin Parker: A Tame impala concert review

Victoria Bullion, Volunteer Writer

After already being to a Tame Impala concert once back in October in Atlanta, Georgia, I thought I had finally lived out the concert dream that everyone had wished for. However, I was sorely wrong. When Kevin Parker announced the second part of the Rushium Tour where he would be coming to Nashville, I didn’t hesitate to hide in the bathroom of my workplace to nab my tickets as quickly as possible. It was quite funny, actually, as for me and my mom we bought two tickets with the hopes of surprising each other with them, but really just ended up having to go through the trouble of reselling a pair. We were up in the nosebleeds, but when it came to a concert like this it didn’t really matter at all. Watching Tame Impala live is almost like going to a movie theater to watch a ton of wild and psychedelic-type visuals. You see, Tame Impala is different from your average, everyday concert. Whereas most artists such as Taylor Swift, Tyler the Creator, and Lorde focuses the concert around the artist itself, Tame Impala takes a total 180 degrees and puts a heavy emphasis on the visuals instead of the artist.

The drive was surprisingly short, and no thanks to my boyfriend in the passenger seat, who slept halfway there. Being in Nashville is an experience within itself for me, with all different kinds of fashions and subcultures. It’s exciting to be in a place that puts you in with the crowd and to be seen as no different, instead of receiving the quirked eyebrows and “bless your hearts” from your rural county meemaws and peepaws. Everyone was dressed in bright colors and wild patterns, perfect to be reflected off of all of the lights that flashed around the Bridgestone Arena. I myself wore a purple and gold (go UNA) bell-sleeved shirt with a black skirt and boots to match. The merch line was about as long as the line to get in, and the clothes were expensive, but definitely worth it.

Once inside, the arena was surprisingly empty. In fact, it stayed empty until the opener left and Kevin came out. It was surprising to me the first time I went to the concert in Georgia because even though I know Kevin is from Australia, it still surprised me how thick his accent was compared to his honey-smooth voice when he sings. Whenever he came out, he went straight to business and opened up the venue with “Is it True” before formally addressing us. He had on a plain white shirt, with black bold letters on his chest reading “A Poem”, something I thought was very clever. Both times I’ve gone to his concerts it’s always been the last show, and every time he’s made it extra special for the lucky crowd, usually with extra confetti pops or speaking directly to the pit. He even joked after “Eventually” saying our voices were beautiful, and that it was only their job to sing on key.

My absolute favorites from the concerts have been “Elephant” and “Posthumous Forgiveness”. Elephant is definitely the set with the most lights, as with every guitar riff a spray of reds, greens, and whites scatter from the stage. This show is definitely not for the epileptic, as even I would have a hard time really focusing on what all was going on within the many different flashing lights and changing colors. Posthumous Forgiveness takes on a different side of the colors, though, as the song is more packed with lyrical punches than visuals. Flashing red lights fly from the screen while Kevin sings about the burning turmoil Kevin went through with his father as a child followed by the raw sound of an echoing guitar with a bleeding red screen in front of you really brings you to tears, especially when you relate to it.

Altogether, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience from Kevin Parker. He knows how to make a crowd really go wild, and to see other people dancing along and having a good time to the same music you listen to gives you a new sense of pride in who you are and what you do. Kevin has this ability to make you feel what he felt when he wrote the song, and his visuals are absolutely ethereal to take you on a trip without the drugs. If he ever announces a part three, I have no doubt I will be in the bathroom of my work again, excitedly waiting for Ticketmaster to open up the ticket queue.