MGMT & Tame Impala at the Uptown

When we first made it into the Uptown, I couldn’t help but take notice of the female majority crowd each toting their best sun dress ready to sway back and forth to mellow vibes. The first band, Tame Impala, was definitely helping out in this department. The four peace band was injecting the crowd with an endless array of  psychedelic sounds and it wasn’t long after that the smell of illegal substance filled the air of the small theater. The crowd was definitely on board and ready to take in what Tame Impala was emoting.

The tranquil beats of drummer Jay Watson had taken over the crowd as he swayed the sea of people back and forth with a simple strike of his kick drum. Watson was definitely standing out and seemed to not only have a power over the crowd but the band as well. It was his motions that would send a song from a somber lullaby to hard rock power house. It was easy to get lost in the over all tone, the psychedelic sounds could help you forget for a moment that songs needed to be a set 3 minutes to be enjoyed. Tame Impala had never heard this radio-friendly advice and their jam band feel came across like a breath of fresh air. Their songs would all start to blend together as they never would lose a beat keeping over all feeling flowing and never allowing you to drop your guard. You could tell that they were all about the music and would only add lyrics to a song if that’s what it was missing creating a two minute melody before you ever hear a word.

Tame Impala had impressed me with their talent and I wasn’t alone as the rabid cheers started to grow as the band came to the end of it’s set. I would definitely suggest you seek this band out if you like Sleepy Sun or Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros. I hope to get a chance to see them again and preferably in a much larger portion.

After my lesson in psychedelic rock had ended it was time for MGMT. The crowd was restless and ready to dance. Chants for the band to take the stage only grew louder with every music-less second. It was when the crowd could scream no more that the band finally took the stage. Their music was only intensified by a large wave-like screen projecting colorful images to the beats of the songs. The band switched back and forth between their two albums, this sporadic change in tempo was disappointing as I nor the crowd was allowed to reach full excitement. The sold out crowd was definitely pro Oracular Spectacular as the first note of any of the songs would spark a movement towards a Napoleon Dynamite dace off reenactment. Their bodies would awkwardly liquefy and serve as nothing but a distraction from the show at hand.

Though MGMT did cover all of my favorite songs from their catalog I did leave a little disappointed as the band failed to wow me. Though the show was creatively designed I never felt like it ever found it’s legs. The band was missing something that everyone in the crowd so greatly desired it’s hard to put a finger on it as the band preformed remarkably but just never reached that point of true memorization.

I give MGMT and Tame Impala 3 “ironic head bands” out of 5


by Ryan Davis

About Ryan Davis

Ryan is the Founder of Lost in Reviews, a member of The Kansas City Film Critic's Circle, and a key component in the movement to digitally restore the 1986 classic film The Gate. Ryan is also the co-host of Blu Monday a DVD and Blu Ray review show which Lost in Reviews co-founder Angela Davis also appears. While he may be a film and music snob, that doesn't mean you can't be friends. Well it could if you don't like the same bands or films he does, overall it might be best to avoid the subject all together.

Follow Ryan Here: