Live entertainment returns to the stage after year-long hiatus

Tame+Impala+Live+at+the+Chase+Center+in+San+Francisco%2C+CA+on+Sept.+15%2C+2021.

Grayson Salomon ’22

Tame Impala Live at the Chase Center in San Francisco, CA on Sept. 15, 2021.

“One more year.” That’s what Tame Impala fans about a year and a half ago were saying as headlines flashed over the news reading “All public gatherings have been postponed to a later date.” 

 

This covered all live entertainment, which included Tame Impala’s SF tour stop on his “The Slow Rush” tour, originally scheduled for March 13, 2020, follwoing the release of his fourth studio album, “The Slow Rush.” 

 

One year later, Kevin Parker, the creator of Tame Impala, finally hit the Chase Center for his rescheduled and rebranded “Rushium: Slow Rush Tour,” on Sept. 15. As San Francisco was originally the first tour stop to get postponed, fans and myself were eager to see Tame as we were technically waiting the longest to see the famed Australian Psychedelic Rock project. 

 

But a lot has changed in this one year of COVID, which has affected how we can get back to live entertainment safely. As I arrived at the arena, A lot of new mandates and safety precautions were implemented at the Chase Center, such as vaccination or negative COVID test checks, mask mandates despite vaccination status, social distancing, etc. 

 

When I entered the venue, I was greeted by staff who asked me to provide my vaccination proof, which was on my phone via the Carbon Health app. After being approved, I went through security and was granted access to the show. 

 

In the arena, many food vendors were open along with merch booths that sold tour merchandise that included, shirts, sweatshirts, sweats, hats, posters and even vinyls. One new requirement that can catch people off guard is the fact that vendors do not take cash payments, only take debit/credit card or Apple payment because of the pandemic. I picked up a shirt and a poster and proceeded to my seats. 

Advertisements for The Slow Rush Tour were displayed on several screens inside Chase Center. (Grayson Salomon ’22)

While seated, there were patrons who didn’t wear masks, but many did wear one. There were no social distancing mandates either, as the seats were packed from aisle to aisle and the General Admission floor was filled with many fans. Nevertheless, I wasn’t bothered by it, as I am vaccinated and if you made it this far into the venue, you would’ve proved that you are either  COVID negative or vaccinated. 

Chase Center was transformed into a concert venue rather than the Warrior’s basketball court. (Grayson Salomon ’22)

 

The stage was set, with many lights and special effects ready. The show was set to start at 7:30 p.m., with an opening act by artist Sudan Archives. I never heard of her prior to the show, so I went in with open eyes and ears. As she came out, trippy visuals and audio played as she held a violin, her instrument of choice for the performance. As for the performance, I thought it was pretty good, as her music seems experimental. One complaint I had was her vocals being waaay too loud along with some of her violin playing. She played for about 40 minutes and ended her set around 8:15. Now it was Tame Time. 

 

Tame Impala made their debut on the stage at 8:45, as Parker and his tour band who helps him perform, walked out to an intro video promoting the theme of the tour, Rushium, a fictional medical treatment. The video then transitioned into the opening song, “One More Year,” with Parker’s robotic and chopped up vocals repeating the line “one more year” throughout the beginning of their set, followed by the drums and bass. They then continued with their hit, “Borderline,” which had everyone dancing and grooving, with its funky bass line and catchy tune. 

 

They followed up with an interlude titled, “Nangs,”  which introduced the next song, a throwback to one of his fan favorites off his second album “Lonerism,” “Mind Mischief.” This was probably one of my favorite performances of the night, with its loud and harsh sounding guitar strums paired with the light show and visuals on the screen. They then brought it back to the new album, with “Posthumous Forgiveness,” which was one of the more somber songs of the night, as the lyrics reflect on Parker’s relationship with his father after his parents’s divorce when he was a child. 

This somber moment of the night quickly turned into a vibe as the next song was “Breathe Deeper,” my personal favorite by Tame Impala, with its head nodding drums and charming piano keys. My favorite part of the song’s performance was the outro, as the stage darkened and another light show played, a very cool sight to see. 

 

Following this, Parker and his band covered one of my favorite artists’ songs, “SKELETONS” by Travis Scott, which was better than when I saw it live back in 2018 at Travis Scott’s own show. Since Parker actually produced this song, it was super cool to see them perform the instrumental of the song. 

After “SKELETONS,” Kevin reflected upon the last year, how so much has changed during the course of the pandemic. He mentioned the arrival of his new daughter, Peach Parker, and even shouted out SF as we waited the longest to see the band after the postponement. This led into a performance of “Elephant,” which had the craziest light show of the night as a tribute to his daughter who “loves animals!” 

“Apocalypse Dreams” live by Tame Impala. (Grayson Salomon ’22)

Parker then performed “Lost In Yesterday” and “Apocalypse Dreams” before the band left the stage for a quick intermission, led by the interlude “Gossip” playing as the lights dimmed and the main circular light flashed colors upon the crowd. 

The intermission lasted for about 5 minutes, then led into the next segment of the show with the song “Let It Happen,” which utilized even more lights, confetti and the circular light. This was probably my favorite performance of the night, not only because “Let It Happen” is my favorite Tame song, but also because they performed it so well and the light show was insane. Next, they performed some more fan favorites including “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards,” “Is It True,” and “Glimmer”

Wrapping up the show, the band performed “Eventually,” with one of the last light shows of the night, with lasers shooting up to the top of the arena, looking like thousands of stars in the sky. After that, the band threw it back once more to Parker’s first album, “Innerspeaker,”and performed “Runaway Houses City Clouds,” which was definitely one of the top five performances of the night for me just because of how good the live guitars and drums sounded. 

Light show during “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” (Grayson Salomon ’22)

For the end of the show, the band performed a cult classic, “New Person, Same Old Mistakes,” which was reminiscent of “Let It Happen,” with its crazy lights and confetti cannons during the chorus. After they concluded the song, the band headed off stage as the big circular light flashed a rainbow spiral as the music came to an end. But the fans wanted more. The whole arena erupted with applause and cheers demanding an encore, and they came through with it. The band returned once more to the stage and picked up their instruments to give the fans what they wanted.

For their encore, the band played Parker’s most popular and most groovy song, “The Less I Know The Better.” The whole arena filled with cheers as fans got up to dance and sing along. Finally, the band ended the final song on the album that the tour is named after, “One More Hour,” on “The Slow Rush.

Overall, it feels so good to finally be back to experience live music again, especially seeing Tame Impala.The band is currently on tour hitting major cities such as Las Vegas, Phoenix, Denver, Los Angeles and New York. 

If you want the chance to see Kevin Parker and the band perform in the city, they will be performing at the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival in Golden Gate Park on Oct. 31 for a special Halloween performance. ”

— Grayson Salomon ’22