Tame Impala's appearance at Sasquatch Fest Saturday night was a total rigamarole, but fans who stuck around for the Aussie psych band's two-hour-late set were rewarded with a hair-raising psych blast at the witching hour. And they witnessed it in more intimate quarters than originally planned.
The band was scheduled to play the much larger Honda Stage at 10 P.M., but the gathered throng were soon informed that the tardy quintet would be performing at the smaller Yeti Stage. The bee swarm of people moved, bottlenecking en route, then situated for a spot up close. The scene was set for a kick-ass, in-your-face set.
Then we waited and waited and waited and waited. Hurry up and wait.
Two hours passed. Two hours. The stage hands furiously set up, but one important link was missing: the guitars. When Tame Impala finally took the stage, frontman Kevin Parker apologized, explained the situation (shipping issues with gear, apparently) and thanked the patient souls who stuck around.
They were treated to a succinct but highlights-filled set of gems from their debut and new album, Lonerism. They jammed during interludes and delivered the slick and swirling psych of "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards" and "Solitude Is Bliss" spot-on. But the flashpoint was "Elephant," the T. Rex-y nightmare boogie and guitar chugger from Lonerism.
Now weeded out to only hardcore fans, the crowd flipped out, throwing lights sticks and floating noodles. The band broke down the final instrumental and solo into a meandering, teasing acid-jazz segment, then finally returned to the song's main riff, like Marc Bolan joined Phish (how rad would that be!?). The moment was met with pumped fists and whoops and hollers. One dude yelled his face red, while another head banged in such abandon that he hit all his neighbors. The stoke meter was off the charts.