Concert review: Temper Trap, March 30, Mod Club


Toronto – “TO-RON-TO. How’s it going?” These are the trite-sounding words that came out of the lead vocal when he walked on stage on a Tuesday night. But it was actually quite helpful for me. Over the opening, Dougy’s proclamation slowly sank in and I realized that I am now clearly not in Austin. If you read my first review, Temper Trap, hailing from Melbourne Australia, was the hidden surprise for 3/4 of us at Cedar street courtyard – and I’m sure if Alli was there she would have agreed with us anyways. Trying to play catch-up to the rest of the world (who has probably heard them since last September’s 500 days of summer), I read up a little on their bio-sketch, and I must apologize for labeling Dougy a Philippino last time – he’s from Indonesia (man my childhood Indonesian neighbors would be mad if I tell them… ) He moved along the Indonesian islands, eventually to the biggest one downunder. Starting out by busking and drawing portraits, he rolled up some good friends like a katamari, and they eventually turned into band-mates Toby (drums), Jonny (bass), and Lorenzo (guitar).

There’s no time lost in setup – they got up and started to play on the dot, following a fast-fast-slow tempo for the setlist. I think the more pop-ish Fader was first, then mood-building Rest, and the slower and lighter-drummed Fools. Resurrection was followed by  Down River, which picked the speed right up, and then when I said Solider On was a good song precisely because it’s a slow one that showcases Dougy’s falsetto, some guy immediately contradicted me.  While I fumed the crowd stomped/clapped through Love Lost into their most-played song, Sweet Disposition, from which there was a natural tempo into the crazy Drum Song. This nice album showcase was interrupted by 60 sec of clapping and 60 more sec of “one more song/tem per trap”. They started the encore with a bluesy acoustic vocal verse, and then transition into their typical chorus that I didn’t recognize, and returned to the album, playing Science of Fear as the swan song. The lighting at Mod club, as usual, was spectacular – it can probably make yours truly look good enough in a photo-shoot. The only gripe – I didn’t have my camera, and was kicking myself the whole time. For a band that’s four years old, Temper trap carried themselves very well indoors or outdoors – they simply do a little less jumping/climbing around if there’s no space. Their sounds is genuinely fitting for their demeanor. Dougy plays the heartthrob serenadeer, Lorenzo smiles while playing the guitar evenhandedly, Jonny invariably loses his hair-braid/pin towards the end of the show from violent head-shakes, and I can never see Toby unless I have my zoom lens. I could swear there’s a keyboard person at Filter party… although I didn’t see him this time. They also retained the sufficient-bass-is-good-bass principles – always a plus in my books. That setlist really is built to showcase their album, so there’s very little down-time in terms of crowd reaction. Having seen them twice in recent memory, however, makes some of their stage antics a little predictable (see here and add awesome photoshop backlight silhouette filter for the water drum). They don’t over-do it, though, so it’s all still very cool to watch – and hey, who’s counting, I bet they may be more tired of it than me. I’ve already covered which songs are the immediately good ones. If you go see them in NYC, bring a rain coat. I predict that they’ll just turn on the sprinklers during Drum Song.

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Posted on by Gary in Concerts, Everything

4 Responses to Concert review: Temper Trap, March 30, Mod Club

  1. Jen

    This review confuses me. Suprise? Cedar Street? Sprinklers? What what? hahaha.

  2. Sully

    Small typo in the title, Gary (review).

  3. Gary

    Oh I was trying (and obviously failed) to make a joke about their habit of putting water on the drum when they play the Drum Song… although surprise cedar street sprinklers sounds like a good enough band name these days…

    haha thanks sully, good eye.

  4. ricky

    you need to provide context

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