Well, the day finally came. 548+ days since I had been to a show. If you know me, that was a VERY long time for me.
Back on March 13, 2020, I flew to San Francisco to see my favorite band, Tame Impala, play at the Chase Center. As soon as I landed, I got word that the show had been cancelled due to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown. I was devastated. That weekend turned out to be a somewhat scary weekend, as the San Fransisco bars and restaurants slowly started to shut down throughout our stay. There was even a short while where we were unsure if our flight would stay in tact, and panic set in that we might be stranded in an unfamiliar city.
Prior to that, in 2018, I attended the California psych festival Desert Daze. Tame Impala was the top headliner that year, and I couldn’t be more excited to experience my inaugural Desert Daze with my favorite band. Well, the universe and Mother Nature had other plans. After being stuck in LA traffic for two hours longer than anticipated, and then trapped bummer-to-bummer at the festival’s venue entrance for three hours, we finally made it inside the venue. We quickly set up camp, chugged some alcohol, and literally ran the half mile trail to the venue gates. Since we were so late, we missed most of the music that Friday. While running inside, we were able to catch most of Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats (which rocked the stage), and next up was Tame Impala. Though I was sad to have missed a lot of incredible bands that day, my main focus was moving my way to the front for the Australian five-piece. Kevin Parker and the gang walked on stage and began their psychedelic set. As soon as it began, small raindrops started to pour onto my face, but I was too caught up in the moment to even notice. Before I knew it, lightening was viciously raging right above our heads. The band was able to make it through two songs before the Desert Daze team had to call it off. We were told to head to a hotel (though most everyone was camping out) because things were looking so grim. As soon as we walked away from the stage, distraught, a rare and heavy rain storm cast down on us. About 15 of my friends and I raced for our two cars to stay dry and safe. Storms rarely ravish the California desert, and it just so happened to be right when my favorite band hit the stage in front of me.
Though I had seen Tame Impala live twice before that, I started to feel like I was cursed. So, when the opportunity to see them play amid a pandemic came about, I was pessimistic. But the stars were aligned this time, and I felt the indescribable feeling of seeing live music once again. It was ironic bliss that my first show to be cancelled amid the pandemic was also my first show to attend again as we attempt to inch our way out of this crisis.
Tame Impala rocked the Moda Center stage in Portland, Ore., with psychedelic visuals, Parker’s flawed, angelic voice and heavy guitar rifts. They played most songs on their latest record, “The Slow Rush,” and even played a good chunk of songs off older records like “Currents,” “Innerspeaker” and “Lonerism.” My only disappointment is that they did not play “Half Full Glass of Wine” (the live version of that song will blow your mind). But aside from that, they played so many of my favorites and kept me dancing with a permanent grin on my face all night.
Though I’d like to say that so long without live music made me appreciate it even more, but I already loved it too much. But damn, am I grateful to see live music start to return once again. Hopefully it’s here to stay.