Tame Impala at Treasure Island Music Festival

Seeing Tame Impala live at Treasure Island Music Festival was an opportunity I’d never dreamed of experiencing. 

Led by record-producer and multi-instrumentalist Kevin Parker, Tame Impala is one of the world’s greatest mysteries. After being blown away by them, I wrote about the whole experience for those looking to experience it themselves.

The show:

Opening with the short interlude “Nangs” gave the perfect vibe of what the show would be like. The crowd was enticed by the fog pouring in from both sides of the stage, while the slowly changing lights immersed us all into the trip we were about to undertake. Slowly but surely, Kevin Parker’s voice began to sing “but is there something more than that?” Who knew 7 words could elicit such a feeling of love and excitement from a group of fans.

Tame Impala followed this moment with their hit single, “Let It Happen.” At this point, lasers began to shine, which seemed almost close enough to touch. The lasers bounced to the bass, following the sound at each turn as if they were magically being shot out of the band’s instruments. I felt as if it was the first time I was hearing the song even though I knew all of the words. As the song transitioned, Kevin did something we didn’t expect; He had the audience clap along, something you usually wouldn’t see at a psychedelic rock concert. He transformed us into instruments, adding percussion with our hands.

“Are you ready?” Kevin asked. And suddenly, confetti was covering the sky. The visuals at this concert were nothing short of breathtaking, seductive even.

Tame Impala’s lasers

Tame Impala proceeded to throw it back with “Sundown Syndrome,” their first official 2009 single. Being a sultry song, the band shifted the music into having a jazzier flow, while Kevin’s soft spoken vocals taught us how to sway.

The Moment” started and at this point we were all in our own little worlds. It’s such a fun and easy going song, it’s hard not to dance along. The band followed this with a snippet of  “Sestri Levante” to get us into the mood for something amazing: “Elephant.” This ultimate classic had us all on another level. If you’ve ever seen the Disney movie Dumbo, the song is literally like that one scene with the elephants where you think you’re on drugs. It’s crazy and hypnotic, and Kevin was throwing us through the ringer.

Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind?” was a very hardcore song compared to the others. It was almost like we were in the studio with Kevin as he wrote out the words, unsure and scared of what the feelings he was having meant. Next, “Eventually” came on with its’ distorted and romantic chords. The visuals for this song were also out of this world. The layers of lasers were immersed into a moving cloudy sky of light, flowing with the sound of the guitar. This song is heavily drum based compared to the other songs, so it was amazing to see how they added everything together in person.

Afterwards, “Yes I’m Changing” threw everyone into a reflective mood, as the song holds feelings of love and heartache. This song is about growing and becoming a better person, but not forgetting about who you are and not letting your past hold you down. “There is another future waiting there for you” he sang, telling us all that there is so much we can do to change. This song is the perfect mix of nostalgia and yearning. If you’re going through anything right now, this is the song to listen to. It’s hopeful, and it really makes you think.

The almost romantic but somehow savage song that is “The Less I Know The Better” started playing and we were all in a daze. If you haven’t heard this song before, I would stop what you’re doing right now and look it up. That’s it, I can’t ruin it, you’ll have to listen to it for yourself.

Amongst the excitement and shock of hearing that song live, the audience was blown away by something none of us expected. Tame Impala’s first performance of “Jeremy’s Storm” since November 2012. We were truly lucky to be there and be witnessing something like this. Kevin even said himself that they didn’t even soundcheck it and they were just going to go for it. This song had the most simple visuals which really showed off the bands’ roots. 

Love/Paranoia” was like a lullaby to us all, waking us up to the dreams that the song emitted. For a song about cheating, it’s one of their most beautiful songs. It feels almost as if you’re trapped in a loop, trying to push out and escape. And somehow, Tame Impala makes it feel like you want to be there.

Alter Ego” felt like we were all going through some sort of time machine into the past. And it was almost as if we were all traveling together, on a journey to trying to go back to the beginning of the show, knowing the end of it was near. “Apocalypse Dreams” rang out like a cry as we all danced, not wanting it to ever end. One of their longer songs, it was perfect to end on.

Beginning the encore, “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” played with a feeling of hope. Right as the song started, confetti filled the air and we were all moving in the air with it. I was realizing in this point that it really was the end of the show, and this was Tame Impala in their purest form. I didn’t want it to end.

Their last song was introduced with Kevin saying some parting words. “We will see you real soon, I promise,” he said, as “New Person, Same Old Mistakes” began. Everyone was holding onto his words of ‘seeing us real soon’, because he was still in front of us! During the interlude, Kevin spoke: “Alright guys. This is it! This is the last one. We will see you really soon. We love you! Thank you.” Confetti filled the sky one last time. It was the hardest goodbye.

WHAT NOW?

If you ever have the chance to see Tame Impala live, DO IT. Tame Impala has perfected this art of psychedelic, sexy, but somehow distorted way of catching your eye and making you never want to turn back. It was one of the most magical shows I have ever experienced, and for that I am so grateful, and excited, for what is to come with Tame Impala’s future. According to Kevin, we’ll be seeing them “real soon”, and I’ll be sure to hold him to that.

Photos by: Brittany Roache
Written by: Molly Atkins

The Storm That Stopped it All – Desert Daze Friday Review

Located 3 miles deep into the desert of Lake Perris, CA, Desert Daze music festival kicked off its weekend on Friday October 12.

Unlike any festival I have ever been to before, Desert Daze took place on Moreno Beach making the venue one of the most beautiful places to watch live music. The psychedelic rock festival’s first day line up included Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, Jarvis Cocker, LA Witch, and Pond, with the hotly anticipated Tame Impala headlining. While the festival had become a recent annual affair within Joshua Tree, the location was forced to move to accommodate the scope of this year’s event. Understandably, this set the stage for a series of ups, downs, and growing pains. From traffic to desert storms, here are all things we saw at Desert Daze on Friday.

The Scenery

Lake Perris provided the festival with the most incredible scenery to look out at. Even as the storm clouds rolled in, the skyline and mountains kept visitors in awe. The main stage, where bands such as Pond and Tame Impala performed at, was enclosed around the lake and the beach, which added to every performance.

The Traffic

Some festival-goers waited 3-4 hours in car lines on Friday simply trying to make it into the festival. While the festival experienced severe backlash from their inability to speed up traffic, they attempted to make it up by honoring all Friday passes during Saturdays performaces. Although the festival was expecting traffic at the new location, the terrible wait times many experienced added to the few losses the festival took on Friday.

The Art

The festival was scattered with a plethora of interactive artwork ranging from old living rooms, a “Derpgarden”, a disco themed treehouse, spray painted murals, rainbows and so much more. With every step taken, a new piece of art was found on the grounds. The unique lively artwork added personality to the festival. Each stage had been surrounded and topped off with artistic elements boosting the live shows.

The Rain

Around sunset, the clouds began to darken causing some nerves within the festival goers. Who would have thought that in the middle of a Southern California desert, a thunderstorm would tarnish the most anticipated performance of the festival. A few hours before Kevin Parker, Tame Impala’s mastermind, took the stage raindrops began to fall and lightning danced in the horizon. At 10 p.m. it was fully raining but Tame Impala still began performing. After 3 songs, officials took the mic announcing in panic for everyone to exit the grounds and wait in their cars until the storm passed, promising Tame Impala would be back. Fans exited the festival upset, confused and hopeful that Tame would be rejoin the crowd at some point. My group waited silently in our car as it poured outside, getting less hopeful by each minute that passed. After an hour of waiting we decided that Tame’s return was highly unlikely and hit the road. The festival left fans without any updates during this time, besides tweeting out that everyone should seek shelter.

The 3 Song Performance- Tame Impala

3 songs, 15 minutes. That is how long Desert Daze got to watch Kevin Parker dominate the stage with his trippy light shows and cosmic sound. He opened with mellow song, “Nangs” which led into a fan favorite, “Let it Happen”. Luckily for fans, Parker played the full 8 minute 9 second version of the song. Although it was only ⅓ of his performance, the energy and excitement that filled the audience during “Let it Happen” made being at that show worth it. The performance was topped with confetti and unplanned lightening taking over the sky at harmonious times with the song. Tame Impala closed off with “Sundown Syndrome” which normally would be a chill lead into an incredible setlist packed with songs from the newest album “Currents”. Although the rain stopped the show, being able to have at least seen 3 songs made the night slightly better. Kevin took to Instagram to post a sad face on a rainy window saying, “Devastated. Sorry Desert Daze. Hope everyone’s safe.” and the following day posted, “You know what’s crazy…We were planning on playing the song Jeremy’s Storm at Desert Daze for the first time in five years for a one off jam……. Still heartbroken by the way. Feel deeply for everyone who saved up to buy tickets or traveled from far away to see us. There’ll be a next time of course. Hang in there.” The irony of storm canceling the show that was to feature the rare song “Jeremy’s Storm” stings a little knowing how incredible the night would have been if it concluded with a full 90 minute Tame Impala performance.

The Desert Daze music festival is budding with potential for upcoming years. While their inability to speed up the traffic lines on Friday did result in some furious  people, the tragic ending to Friday was out of the festivals control. The unique line-up, breathtaking view and incredible artwork is something that makes Desert Daze unlike any festival. While the first day of the festival may have not lead the weekend off to the greatest start, many elements of the fest leave it with the ability to breakthrough as one of the best psychedelic rock festivals yet.

Written by: Kelly Kerrigan

CRSSD: Fall 2017 Preview

Although new to the music festival scene, CRSSD has made a name for itself among SoCal residents and beyond. It is a truly unique festival that comes around every 6 months, having both a fall and spring show every year. Returning for its fall ’17 run on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, CRSSD has a hard-hitting house lineup sure to give true electronic fans what they’ve been waiting for. Coming from the minds of Fngrs Crssd and Golden Voice (the same organization that does Coachella), CRSSD taps into the underground sounds of house, deep house, tech house and other sub-genres to create an electric and vibrant atmosphere right here in good old San Diego.

Located on the bay of downtown San Diego at Riverfront Park, CRSSD offers amazing views of the city and shores of San Diego. And, the park has a quaint grassy area lined by fountains to give festival goers a one of a kind experience.

In the past, the festival has seen many mogul acts: Empire of the Sun, Lane 8, Justin Martin, Odesza, Miike Snow, Zhu, Flume and Claude Vonstroke, to name a few. Unlike most festivals, however, it is not the big acts that draw the crowds, but the more obscure underground artists that fans don’t get to see often. The fall ’17 linup includes Rufus du Sol, Richie Hawtin, Hot Since 82, Hotel Garuda, Chromeo, and many others.

The best part of the festival, though, is THE PRICE. Now-a-days, it seems that people are willing to pay more and more for music festivals. But, why pay more? CRSSD offers 50+ artists in 2 days for $135.00. When tickets to see just one artist can range from $35 to $100+, it’s safe to say this festival is a real steal.

Unfortunately, the festival is 21 and over, so for those of you who are not of age, I apologize. But, be sure to look into the festival when you are of age!

For those 21 and over who’d like to attend, you can buy tickets and see more of the lineup here.

Personally, this will be my fourth time attending CRSSD – and as the price and lineup are hard to beat, I don’t see myself stopping any time soon. For those of you who will also be attending, stay safe, stay hydrated, and see you there!

Featured Image from crssdfest.com.

The Ultimate Coachella Survival Guide

Hey, Aztecs! Excited for weekend two of Coachella 2017? Before you go out and make new memories, be sure to follow my personal “do’s and don’t’s” for Coachella 2017 for the optimal time of your life.

Don’t be afraid to wear whatever you want.
I hear people say, “Coachella is turning into more of a fashion show than a music festival,” (or something along those lines) all the time. My response to that? Wear whatever you want. If you want to dress boho chic? Go for it. Want to wear your heels? It might be a little painful if you’re standing all day, but if you really want to wear them, go for it! Dress for yourself, and don’t think twice about what others think.

Just keep in mind that it’s going to be really warm (especially when you’re deep inside a crowd of hundreds of people), and that there will be a lot of walking, standing around and dancing!

Create a meet-up spot for you and your friends.
Do you and your friends want to see different sets that are happening at the same time? Before you split up and head to your respective stages, create a meet-up place. Whether it be at different art installations, bathrooms or some other area, this will help reunite the group without any worries. It’ll also save you a lot of battery on your phone because you won’t have to constantly check up on everyone. Just simply arrange to meet somewhere at a specific time.

Being present in the moment is better than being on your phone.
As much as I love being on my social media accounts, I always follow this one rule: don’t drown everyone in excessive concert postings. I find it best to limit yourself to a couple posts a day, so that you can be present and really enjoy the festival. It’s better to become entranced in the different music, light shows and awesome surroundings that Coachella provides. I’d also like to add that people spend $400 on a ticket, and should really take in every little moment.

Create a game-plan for each day – but break that plan too.
To really get the most out of the three days of Coachella, it’s best to figure out in the morning (or night before) what sets you want to see, and plan out which stages you’re going to. However, Coachella’s about relaxing, having fun and spontaneity. If you’re passing by an artist or band who has an appealing sound, check them out! You never know what new music you might discover. It’s Coachella – just go with the flow.

Chill out at the Do Lab.

An incredibly underrated stage, being at the Do Lab is possibly the best memory I have of Coachella. If you’re tired, exhausted, hot, and in dire need of some fresh air… head on over to the Do Lab. Not only does the Do Lab feature weird characters spraying you with these strange, misting guns (pictured above), but they also have great music from underground DJs. For example, I was cooling down at the Do Lab when I discovered Tokimonsta, in 2015. Tokimonsta brought out Anderson .Paak, and then I realized how awesome Anderson .Paak was. The moral of the story is that you can discover a lot of new music. And, the Do Lab is a pretty spacious place compared to the other stages, which can only mean one thing: more dancing!

That’s all I have for today, Aztecs! Be sure to wear your sunscreen, charge your phones and bring your own toilet paper and seat covers!

Ashley Bajet,
signing out.

Featured Image: The Odyssey