Tame Impala & The Flaming Lips at Terminal 5
Copyright © 2013 by Lindsey Okubo
The rhythmically arrested clapping of the crowd, the hands of the head-bangers nailed to the air-guitars they brought from their childhood basements, fingers running up and down its neck, as if they to were adding a fourth dimension to Tame Impalas' three-man burn. The show at Terminal 5 was sold out, and I mean completely sold out. The stage from which a form of poetry only electric guitars could possess now held a gravitational pull as each note seemed to radiate and hover, dropping bits of stardust before the next synth-heavy strum came into harmony. All those standing on the floor were now planets in orbit around Tame Impalas' groove-tastic cosmos. Throughout their romp of hits like "Apocalypse Dreams", "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards", and "Elephant", Kevin, Dom, and Jay (guitarists, or should I say gods, do have names guys) exhibited their artistry chemically. Kevin would turn around to face Dom and Jay and they would straight up jam with each other, slinging themselves off to dance upon the mountains they seemed to create with every kick of the drum, or maybe back to the comforts of their homes from which their hearts are rooted. These guys know their music and its effects. The projections of an endless color spectrum at their backs spit out painted metaphors of the continuity and control as the only way to express the mingling of emotions unanimously felt in each fleeting note. Tame Impala without a doubt, had just re-defined what it meant to "get lost" in chords uncharted.
After Tame Impala threw a last fist up in the air, the stage began to undergo a transformation. The projector screen was replaced with what would become a hanging light-show, tentacle-like lights blanketed the stage from corner to corner, and the crowd thought to ask themselves if they were ready for the musical pandemonium that the Flaming Lips were about to unleash. Vocalist, Wayne Coyne, took his place on an elevated platform center-stage, the lights honing in on his metallic-blue clad figure shone down only to be dimmed by this cloudless man; the audience erupted. The sheer magnanimity of the atmosphere that the Lips created cannot be picked a part into individual elements of sounds, charisma, lights etc. After a playing a few numbers like "Look…The Sun is Rising", "The Terror", and "Virgo Self-Esteem Broadcast", which included Coyne caressing a baby doll, to streaking strobes into the audience via his own personal strobe light, to using a miniature horn as his conductor baton, the Lips launched into "Silver Trembling Hands". Within the span of a few minutes, the Lips took control of their atmosphere, sending veils of confetti to mist upon the heads of the crowd. Hands stretched upwards trying to grasp one of the only tangible takeaways of such an experience. The Lips then proceeded to crack the whip on their heavens again and dove into "Race For the Prize", moving Coyne and a few of us, almost to tears. The performance given by the Lips is a decadent cake, of which you savagely eat that cake, making sure to plough your head down into each layer so that your neighbor will at least have some frosting to lick off your cheek when it's all gone.
Written in Fall 2013.
Edited and published by Washington Square News/WSN Highlighter: