Tame Impala @ The Loft with Stardeath and the White Dwarfs and Kuroma

3:48 am by

Tame Impala

I knew it was going to be a great night before I even entered The Loft, but more on that later. This particular evening, I went to The Loft to see the headlining band Tame Impala. There were also two solid opening acts that I wanted to catch as well – Stardeath and the White Dwarfs and Kuroma. I would say that all three bands have a psychedelic rock sound, but it’s as if they’re influenced from different decades. Tame Impala would be more of the 60’s/70’s, Stardeath is more modern, and Kuroma would be the 80’s.

 

Sausage and Wayne
Words by Melissa “Sausage” Cox. Photos by Jack “Huevos” Stewart.

So, how did I know it was going to be an incredible night? I was walking up to The Loft with a few of my friends, and saw Wayne Coyne, lead singer of The Flaming Lips and personal rock hero of mine, outside hanging out. I said hello to him, while totally geeking out internally. He stopped us and chatted with us for a bit and then asked if we had tickets to the show. I did, but some of my friends did not. He ended up giving us two tickets he had. We also found out that he just returned from Japan and bought a sweet jacket there. Details that have nothing to do with the show I know, but just shows what a cool guy he is. I saw him a few additional times that night, and he was so nice and cordial to me and all the other adoring fans who wanted photos with him and to talk to him. Even to the guy that went up to him and stood really close and said, “Oh man, I’m tripping balls right now. This shit is crazy.” Wayne’s response was to laugh and say, “Man what did you take and how much?”

 

Kuroma

I walked in as Kuroma played their first song. I spent the first few songs trying to contain myself after my interaction with my new BFF, Wayne. Kuroma’s front man and founder is Hank Sullivant, who formerly was in The Whigs, and was also a touring guitarist for MGMT. My first impression of Hank was that he looked kind of like a hipster David Spade in the SNL “Van Down By The River” sketch days. He was the only one playing a guitar – there were 2 other keyboardists and a drummer. The guitar was still able to fill the space really well, and he had some great solos. The last song started with just him and minimal keyboard, but then the rest of the band picked up. It was a great ending to their set.

 

Stardeath and the White Dwarfs

The second band was Stardeath and the White Dwarfs, and was the reason that Wayne Coyne was there. Other than the fact that they have a great name, the lead singer, Dennis Coyne, is his nephew. As you might expect, he definitely has some of Wayne’s showmanship. He walked out with a fringed shirt, giant furry boots, and stood with his back to the crowd until his band hit the big opening note, the lights came on, and he stuck his arms out showcasing the full power of his fringed sleeves. It was a great moment. I must say that the band is legit, and walked away remembering and enjoying their performance more than any of the three bands I saw that evening. They have some of that rough and raw sound that you hear from bands like The Black Keys, but also have a jam band style, which reminded me slightly of The Mars Volta (but more grounded). In fact, Dennis left the stage quite a few times and just let the band play. I heard one of the best bass solos I heard all year on one of their songs. Also, Dennis busted out the theremin at one point – always a treat. They sold a 7” at the show that Wayne drew the artwork for. It definitely had a naked lady on it.

By the time Tame Impala took the stage, it already felt like a music-filled evening. The Loft was packed with one of the most hipster-esque crowds I’ve seen in Dallas – but the kind that actually know and appreciate music. There was a lot of pot smoke, I’m sure quite a bit of acid, but the biggest draw back was how loud everything was. I think that it’s the loudest show I’ve been to in a long time. My ears were ringing when I left.

When Tame Impala came out, they reminded me a lot of the 70’s – like they came straight from the movie Dazed and Confused. In fact, I have a theory that you could probably play their album over the movie Dazed and Confused, similar to the Dark Side of the Moon and the Wizard of Oz. Maybe you start the music after the second paddle though, instead of the second lion’s roar. This is just a theory, as I haven’t been able to test it yet. I would call it Tame and Confused. I hope someone tries it out to see if it works – let me know how it turns out.

 

Tame Impala

Tame Impala is actually from Austrialia, and is made up of Kevin Parker (lead guitar and vocals), Dominic Simper (guitar), Nick Allbrook (bass) and Jay Watson (drums and backing vocals). They’ve had quite a bit of success in their native land, but received a lot of attention this year in America with their first full-length album, Innerspeaker, which was ranked the 43rd best album of the year by Pitchfork.

Although the lights for the performance were rather one note (read, just a red light shining on them), the music they played was solid. They opened with the song “It Is Not Meant To Be” and just rocked out for the rest of their set. By the 4th song in, the hippie, sweater crew in front of us was in full-on dance mode, and at once point formed a circle of sorts and did an even weirder group hug-like dance. At one point I saw Wayne at the side using his phone. I wondered if he tweeted about it, and sure enough he posted this.

When they played “Desire Be Desire Go,” the entire crowd jumped and danced along. If you’ve ever been to a show at The Loft, you know that the floor moves with the crowd, and can get a little scary sometimes. I’ve been there when it’s worse, but it was definitely noticeable this evening. At the end of their set, they announced that it was their last song, and said they don’t know anymore songs so there wouldn’t be an encore. I don’t think anyone minded though, because the song lasted about 10 minutes.

All-in-all it was a great night with many great moments. Twitter isn’t something I use a lot, but I did send Wayne a Tweet the next morning thanking him for the tickets. I wish I could say that he Tweeted me back and we talk now, but alas, it ended with my Tweet to him. I had my 15 minutes with him though, and I’ll take that.

 

Stardeath and the White Dwarfs

Stardeath and the White Dwarfs

Stardeath and the White Dwarfs

Stardeath and the White Dwarfs

Stardeath and the White Dwarfs

Stardeath and the White Dwarfs

Stardeath and the White Dwarfs

Stardeath and the White Dwarfs

Stardeath and the White Dwarfs

Tame Impala

Tame Impala

Tame Impala

Tame Impala