When an albatross sits atop your shoulders on a Wednesday, a Tame Impala gig will help to shoo it away. Thankfully for Adelaide/ Tarntanya, that’s what transpired when the long-awaited Slow Rush tour finally arrived.
Dwarfed by the massive stage and myriad of lights, Brisbane’s Sycco and band were impressive during their short opening set. The trio projected a huge sound despite only being afforded a sixth of the Adelaide Entertainment Centre (AEC) Arena stage. Songs including My Ways, Germs and crowd favourites Ripple and Dribble highlighted the multi-genre artist’s capabilities. The drum and bass-inspired Jinx was a show highlight with its frenetic deep grooves.
After big wins at the 2021 ARIAs and 2022 APRA Awards, Genesis Owusu was on top of the world. And literally, his backup dancers/ singers’ shoulders as he belted out The Other Black Dog. Adorned in a striking red ensemble, Owusu powered through an eight-song set without missing a beat. Being afforded a quarter of the AEC Arena stage, he used every centimetre and performed like a headliner.
Owusu’s talent is undeniable, and he knows it. Embracing the crowd’s energy, he harnessed it to sustain his ego, ergo performance. WUTD, Waitin on Ya, Void, GTFO, Get Inspired, Don’t Need You, and Good Times were more than well-received. They whipped everybody into a frenzy. His performance was electric. One can only imagine how elaborate a Genesis Owusu arena gig will be. Given his trajectory in the music industry, this is likely not too far off.
As a pharmaceutical rep commenced her spiel about the Rushium pill on a gigantic screen upstage, the fanciful extent of the next two hours began to materialize.
Surrounded by an impressive lighting set-up, Tame Impala took centre stage to rapturous applause. Songs One More Year, Borderline, Nangs, and Mind Mischief embraced the Rushium feeling. The slow rush of psychedelic euphoria generated by one of the world’s most highly acclaimed artists.
In a set list that matched the Slow Rush trope, Breathe Deeper was an apt reminder to do just that. Because what was to come would only increase the rush.
Posthumous Forgiveness was the calm before the storm of Elephant. With a barrage of pulsating red and green lighting enveloping the AEC coalesced with strobe, lasers and smoke effects, Elephant was a feast for the senses. From here, the orbit of the spectacle only intensified.
Lost In Yesterday was another crowd favourite. While Apocalypse Dream was dedicated to a very special guest, Kevin Parker’s mum.
A giant overhead lighting rig resembling a spaceship chose (Mutant) Gossip to unleash its furore. Then Let It Happen happened. An undoubtable show highlight, it was the ultimate Tame Impala experience. The music, lighting and special effects culminated with a confetti bomb over seven plus minutes of bliss. It was joyous. When Parker avowed, “There is nowhere else in the world I’d rather be now. I hope you feel the same,” seven thousand people roared in agreement.
The rush continued with Feels Like We Only Go Backwards, only to come to an unexpected standstill.
The prolonged wait to see this band finally tour their fourth studio album, The Slow Rush, proved too much for some. Thanks to his bird’s eye view, Parker noticed a punter in distress in the mosh and halted proceedings until security could assist. Once the thumbs-up was given by the guard (and the entire audience), the show continued.
Is It True, with guest and birthday boy from Miami, Florida, Rafael on conga drums, seamlessly transitioned into Glimmer. Mobile phone lights came on and created a mirage resembling thousands of fireflies dancing through the Arena.
The beloved Eventually increased the ecstasy. Whereas Runway, Houses, City, Clouds from Innerspeaker (2010) was a nostalgic trip to Impala yesteryear. New Person, Same Old Mistakes closed out the main set.
With chants of “Kevin” echoing, the band returned for a two-song encore. Less I Know the Better and the delightful One More Hour, with a couple more confetti bombs thrown in, brought the event to a close.
Tame Impala don’t do things by halves. This show was evidence of that. While bigger may not always be better, when the quality of music and musicianship that Parker and his band offer is so superior bigger is the best. Add a Rushium pill to the mix, and the sky’s the limit.
Live Review By Anita Kertes