As of January 1, 2016, Gapers Block has ceased publication. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions over the past 12-plus years. 


Tuesday, July 14

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« Chicago House Music: The Soundtrack to Your Summer Numero's Secret Role in "Mad Men" »

Review Sat May 16 2015

Tame Impala Brings Hypnotic Grooves to Riviera

Though most 'psychedelic rock' music contains some of the most saturated and intricate production, the main ingredients are pretty much the same: some sort of brain-melting guitar, echoed cadences and reverberating bassline patterns combined to make a lengthy drug-infused jam session. The only question: is it a good trip, or bad trip?

Playing new material to a sold-out crowd at Riviera on Friday after a two-year hiatus, Aussie paisley-poppers Tame Impala concocted a hypnotizing whirlwind of hazy reverb and fuzzy guitar riffs into a blissfully nostalgic, constantly dazzling and undeniably groovy jaunt to wonderland.

"Sexy Chica-GO-ans!... is that how you say it? 'ChicaGOans?'" band frontman Kevin Parker sincerely asked the audience. "We've been here many-a-time... I think I'm going to dedicate my life to John Belushi."

The lanky, barefoot crooner Paker shook his shaggy mophead as his falsetto floated above thick, juicy waves of reverbed strings and glistening synthesizers through face-lifted favorites such as the heady "Why Won't You Make Up Your Mind?" and flowering "Apocalypse Dreams." Drummer Julien "Frenchie" Barbagallo punctured the beat, providing a military rumble that made a loopy sound effect like a scratched CD stuck on repeat.

Their new album Currents isn't due for two more months, but the five-piece rockers have already been released four singles, each track providing a slightly new avenue for Tame Impala to venture. "Cause I'm a Man" stands out as an oozing, sexual R&B track where Parker simultaneously apologizes and flirts--you know, 'cause he's a man. "Eventually" brings a more vulnerable side, with heavy church organs uplifting Parker's simple voice to a more emotional side. And the near-10-minute groove "Let it Happen," which they dared to start the show with, mutated into a beautiful mural of loops, pulls and drops, oozing with vibrant whirrs and melodies and prescribing the audience with their most pungent substance right off the bat.

Perhaps the most intoxicating part of their live show was their visuals--the group stood as silhouettes in front of a line of colored spotlights and a massive screen of interchanging shapes and textures that bled together to the beat of the music, pulling the audience into their hypnotic jaunt that brought the joys of an old paisley-pop record elevated by 21st century additives.

GB store
GB store

Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

GB store


Featured Series


Transmission on Flickr

Join the Transmission Flickr Pool.

About Transmission

Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Sarah Brooks,
Transmission staff inbox:



Transmission Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15