Live Review: The Temper Trap, Crocodiles at The Showbox at the MarketPosted by Bebe Besch
Dougy Mandagi of The Temper Trap at The Showbox at the Market (all photos by Bebe Besch)
After nearly two years, Melbourne’s The Temper Trap found themselves playing to a sold out crowd again on the stage of The Showbox at the Market. In between this time, they’ve recently released their sophomore and self-titled album, which hasn’t been receiving the warmest of reviews. That elephant that should have been in the showroom could have instead been metaphorically a chameleon, because in Seattle, it was nowhere to be found.
The weaving between songs from their first album Conditions and their new material was seamless; though many have claimed that The Temper Trap’s lead singer Dougy Mandagi’s voice has departed in a new direction, live, it instead works as the adhesive holding all of the band’s songs together. Mandagi’s vocals have in fact evolved for the better, as he continually showed on each song with the opening of his diaphragm. This vocal growth was a definer of older songs as well, proving to everyone that this was a step forward for the band that improves their overall sound by saturating the already inspiring vocals on songs we’ve grown to love.
Synthesizers were also eminent on their newer songs, but in the concert setting they are exciting, and unlike other bands who utilize synths for effects, The Temper Trap’s vocals are not washed away in a sea of white noise. When Mandagi’s sensual dancing didn’t capture the attention of everyone, other instruments were made the star of certain songs, such as the acoustic guitar of Jonathon Aherne. Alongside Mandagi, “Down River” had Aherne strumming ferociously on the musical vessel while belting backing vocals into his own mic.
A single drum and symbol were also brought to center stage for Mandagi to experiment on during a few songs, including their newer single “Need Your Love” and, of course, “Drum Song”. Water that had been previously poured on the drum’s head exploded at the climax of the instrumental older song as it was hit. When the splashes had finished, the band left the stage before their encore.
The Temper Trap disappeared offstage for a healthy amount of time before returning to the many calls of their fans. They opted to provide the crowd with two of their most beloved and older songs as an encore, starting with “Soldier On”. The song’s emotional buildup could be compared to their newer song “Rabbit Hole,” but harnesses even more intensity. The song’s an absolute treat to audiences, as they’ve only recently begun integrating it back into their mix (according to Setlist.fm, the band regularly stopped playing the song live in 2010). Ending on the highest note possible, the ever popular “Sweet Disposition,” which is responsible for much of the band’s success thus far, was the final closer for the night. The crowd danced frantically as the song finally gave them the release they were waiting for the whole concert long – everyone had jumped and danced to “Fader” as well, but put forth their most energetic efforts for this last “hurrah”.
Need Your Love
This Isn’t Happiness
Science of Fear
Crocodiles from San Diego meant business as impressive openers. Their “noise pop” mixes in some grunge undertones all balancing along lead singer Brandon Welchez’s trippy vocals. While he sporadically dances along the stage’s edge, his equal and core band member, Charles Rowell captivates everyone with his fierceness on the electric guitar. Shredding through song after song, Rowell stole the audience in the opening act, all while appearing to not notice our presence at all. While the noise level never seemed to embrace dangerous levels, the band definitely delivered on their final blow. The build up during the finale of Crocodile’s last song had folks grabbing for earplugs as well as each of us in awe at the athleticism it must have taken each member of the band to continue with such rigor on the song’s lengthy with repetitive notes.