‘Rushium’ might be fake, but Tame Impala’s ‘Slow Rush’ tour was nothing short of psychedelic

Kevin Parker’s music project was marked by illuminating laser lights and an air of pure blissfulness at Bridgestone on March 23.


Josh Rehders

Tame Impala performs at Bridgestone Arena, as photographed on March 23, 2022 (Hustler Multimedia/Josh Rehders).

Krisha Shah

I have never heard a sound quite as deafening as I did inside Bridgestone when Tame Impala fans screamed “Kevin!” at the top of their lungs before the show’s encore. 

Two years after the release of the album “Slow Rush,” an anticipating crowd greeted Kevin Parker and his musical group at Bridgestone Arena on March 23. “Slow Rush” was consistent with the theme of the world right now: patience in dealing with the times changing quickly, and Parker conveyed this message with fervor, beauty and luminescence. 

Opening for Tame Impala was Shayna McHayle, or Junglepussy, who had an incredibly fierce presence on stage. She was confident, interactive and everything you might expect of a feminist icon. She combined older anthems like “Bling Bling” with some of the more recent ones like “Movie Screen” and got the crowd dancing with her. While she was on stage, she energized the audience in a way that set the perfect precedence for Tame Impala.

Then began the main act. When I tell you that Parker delivered a performance that beat the expectations that the crowd had been craving for years, I would be understating. The show began with an advertisement for “Rushium,” a new experimental therapy treatment, the effects of which ranged from minor changes in perception to reality collapsing. 

After hinting that the show was going to be a psychedelic experience, Tame Impala took to the stage with Jay Watson on bass, Julien Barbagallo on drums, Dominic Simper on guitar and keys, Cam Avery on synths and, of course, Kevin Parker. Parker came in with his t-shirt and jeans, looking like he was a 20-year-old recording with his new band in his garage, and brought to the audience a performance that made them forget every grievance that had occurred in the past two years. 

Parker opened with “One More Year” and went on to mesmerize the crowd with more hits like “Borderline” and “Glimmer.” As he played “Feels Like I Only Go Backwards,”  reds, blues and greens took over the stadium and every single person in the crowd screamed his lyrics back at him, feeling a catastrophe of emotions in one song. 

“Feel free to go as crazy as you want,” Parker said halfway through the show as he instantly started performing “Elephant.” With this song, the music group provided the audience with a sensory overload (but in the best way) with an immaculate laser show. 

To top it off, Parker accompanied the fan favorites, “Let It Happen” and “New Person, Same Old Mistakes” with a blast of confetti that left the crowd screaming and in a space of euphoria. 

Finally, as the group exited the stage after “New Person, Same Old Mistakes,” the entire crowd burst into chants asking for an encore performance, raised their flashlights up, and screamed for “Kevin.”

Of course, they confidently walk back in after five minutes, sending the crowd into a frenzy and jump into “The Less I Know The Better” and end with “One More Hour.” 

As they finally left the stage, the crowd left recovering from the feeling of being carried away into a different reality— I have never seen a rock artist put forth a musical experience as visually and emotionally fulfilling as Tame Impala did.

I can confidently say that I would recommend a dose of Rushium to anyone who asks.

Tame Impala performs at Bridgestone Arena, as photographed on March 23, 2022 (Hustler Multimedia/Josh Rehders).
Tame Impala performs at Bridgestone Arena, as photographed on March 23, 2022 (Hustler Multimedia/Josh Rehders). (Josh Rehders)