Tame Impala, Auckland New Zealand, 2022

Tame Impala

15th October 2022
Spark Arena, Auckland, New Zealand.

Review by Lauren Sanderson. Photography by Doug Peters.

Legendary psych-rock phenomenon Tame Impala took over Spark Arena last night for their highly-anticipated Slow Rush Tour and let’s just say it was a night to remember.

A night of musical wizardry filled with kaleidoscopic fun, psychedelic melodies, and plenty of feel-good vibes.

The brains behind Tame Impala, Australian multi-instrumentalist Kevin Parker first released his latest album ‘The Slow Rush’ back in February 2020 and were set to play New Zealand but, along with everything else, the tour was postponed (multiple times) – but boy, did they prove that it was certainly worth the wait.

Warming up the crowd was the indie-rock Kiwi superstar Ladyhawke, whose unique sound certainly leaves a mark and gets everyone pumped for the night ahead. In the words of Kevin Parker himself, “She’s amazing and it’s such a privilege to share a stage with New Zealand’s favourite lady.”

My musical fantasy came to life last night and I am truly in awe of what I witnessed at Spark Arena. I think it can only be described as an out-of-this-world multi-sensory experience that everyone needs to be exposed to.

The music is just a slither of what Tame Impala has to offer, their unique performance entwined the digital realm with the world of music. We were greeted by a video featuring a pharmaceutical rep from AionWell, the fictional company that promotes a trippy new ‘drug’ called ‘Rushium’ which warps your perception of time. The video continued to play, distorting the rep’s features and slowing her speech as she says “Now would be a great time to take your Rushium” – looking around the crowd, it was evident that for some that ‘Rushium’ was already taking effect.

Lost in this train of thought, we were awoken by the hypnotic symphonies of ‘One More Year’, and soon we were mesmerized by Parker’s unique vocals as they echoed around the arena and left everybody in awe of what was to come. ‘Borderline’ followed to which the crowd shrieked with excitement and those seated jumped to their feet bopping in unison.

‘Nangs’ and ‘Mischief’ were up next and continued the hallucinogenic vibes, repping a multicolored, mind-bending backdrop.

After playing a mammoth reel of music, Parker addresses the crowd and says “Auckland it’s been a while. How fucking amazing is it to finally be doing this!” – and by the crowd’s reaction we couldn’t agree more. “Fuck it, let’s celebrate,” he says, as new track ‘Breathe Deeper’ fills the space with its funky upbeat rhythm.

An impressive strobe light show followed for ‘Posthumus Forgiveness’, highlighting how easily Parker can transition from rave to rock. By this point, they have captivated us in a trance-like state and have us hook, line and sinker but nothing could prepare us for what was to follow…

Parker looked at the crowd in admiration and yelled “Shall we crank things up a notch? Let’s get a bit rowdy!” as he moved into ‘Elephant’ – without hesitation, the crowd did exactly that and bounced in unison to the epic guitar riffs. The heavy strum of the guitar paired with the overhead laser lights brought the show to peak energy.

‘Lost in yesterday’ took us on a journey through Intergalactic travel with its stunning visuals, whilst ‘Apocalypse dreams’ brought the chill vibes before they left the stage. To keep us entertained, there was a two-minute-long outro added to the song which saw a UFO-like lighting rig descend onto the stage, projecting an explosion of coloured lasers across the arena.

Of course, the crowd went wild for their return as the fan-favourite ‘Let it happen’ brought some retro fun to the stage, followed by an explosion of confetti canons. This was a magical moment – at this point I looked into the crowd and it felt like I was at a festival rather than a gig, the energy was on another level and the atmosphere was something that I’d not experienced at a concert in a very long time.

‘Is it True’ and ‘Glimmer’ had us groovin’ to the funky bass lines, while the tracks ‘Eventually’ and ‘Runaway, Houses, City, Clouds’ engrossed us with an even more awe-inspiring light show.

After sharing his love for the crowd, Parker bids us farewell, but not for long. Heavy Foot stomps, rhythmic claps and many loud cheers later and the guys return to perform crowd favourite ‘Less I Know the Better’. “You don’t know how much this warms my heart. I had no idea that this would be like this” he says, showing just how humble the musical genius is.

Closing the night with “One More Hour”, we bid Tame Impala farewell wishing that we had exactly that – one more hour with them.

Were you there at Spark Arena to witness this huge psychedelic rock gig? Or have you seen Tame Impala perform live somewhere else? Tell us about it in the comments below! 

Setlist:
  1. Intro [pre recorded video]
  2. One More Year
  3. Borderline
  4. Nangs
  5. Mind Mischief
  6. Breathe Deeper
  7. Posthumous Forgiveness
  8. Elephant
  9. Lost in Yesterday
  10. Apocalypse Dreams
  11. Mutant Gossip [pre recorded video]
  12. Let It Happen
  13. Feels Like We Only Go Backwards
  14. Is It True
  15. Glimmer
  16. Eventually
  17. Runway, Houses, City, Clouds (The Bold Arrow Of Time outro)
  18. New Person, Same Old Mistakes
  19. The Less I Know the Better [encore]
  20. One More Hour [encore]

Note: Ambient Light was provided passes to review and photograph this concert. As always, this has not influenced the review in any way and the opinions expressed are those of Ambient Light’s only. This post contains an affiliate link. If you purchase a product using an affiliate link, Ambient Light will automatically receive a small commission at no cost to you.

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