December 4: Tame Impala

Sometimes, it's the time spent around the show that define it. On the 4th, Tame Impala played the Bluebird, and I attended the show with friends (one old and one newer). The show itself was a raucous jam session by the Aussie psychedelic indie band. My relative unfamiliarity with Tame Impala didn't hurt the experience at all. Instead, it was a show that perfectly accompanied an evening. We missed the opener, opting for drinks and listening to vinyl while discussing music, television and philosophy, and then arrived just in time to catch the main act. As a live act, and as a band, Tame Impala was impressive if occasionally monotonous. To the uneducated listener (I include myself in this camp) their songs are not clearly defined, instead merging from musical thought to musical thought. All of the sounds are pleasing, and I definitely recognized the popular "Solitude is Bliss" from my experience with its YouTube music video. Beyond that, though, the show was more of a peaceful interlude in an altogether excellent night.

The Bluebird was lightly-packed, like a box of cereal, defined by weight rather than volume, but the audience was a good one, and the music was sway-worthy. Including an 18 minute jam-out of a final song. The musicianship was strong, the vocals mixed a bit low, but seeming functional as a garnish rather than a foreground image. It's the type of music that relies on its mass rather than its is lead singer, and like a sprig of parsley, the vocals were great. After the show, we went back to my friend's apartment, drank tea, listened to more records and debated the ins and outs of harmonies via Dirty Projectors, among others. And we talked and laughed. It was, ultimately, a philosophical concert experience. And I'd never fault the band for my mindset because I wasn't there to take them in so much as to take in the evening.

What has become most interesting to me is how this sort of experience, good friends spending time together, drifting in and out of focus, debating the issues, is so sustaining. Often I go to show specifically because I love or want to love the band(s) playing, but this time was refreshingly different. It was a great show. Yes. It was. And it was also a uniquely different evening. There's always value in that, I think.

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