A wide demographic of excited fans packed the nearly sold-out Fillmore to see Australian indie-pop darlings, The Temper Trap, deliver a stunning hour-long headlining set on Saturday.
After skyrocketing into the mainstream in 2009 with their debut record Conditions, critics felt the Melbourne quintet suffered a bit of a sophomore slump with the release of their self-titled second record in May. But the anthemic soft rockers brought their new tracks to life with a contagiously energetic live performance proving they’re louder and tighter than ever before.
Tracks from both Conditions and their latest record blended together seamlessly as a result of Dougy Mandagi’s jaw-dropping vocals. The frontman electrified the room during the U2-esqe opener, “London’s Burning (Repeater,)” and continued to hit the highest of notes with flawless precision throughout the set, making each song more audibly pleasing than the last. But Mandagi’s phenomenal vocals were only heightened by the intricate acoustic guitar work of Jonathon Aherne. The long-haired rocker strummed ferociously on his musical vessel while harmonizing beautifully with keyboardist Joseph Greer on backing vocals.
If any other band (that isn’t already headlining arenas,) attempted the same level of complex detail and otherworldly atmospherics, it could’ve been perceived as overly ambitious. But The Temper Trap managed to keep their sound polished amid the synthesizers while maintaining an astoundingly high energy level that only illuminated the theatrical intensity of the swirling fog and beaming, multicolored lights.
One of the most memorable moments of the evening came late in the set during “Drum Song,” the final performance before the encore. Mandagi poured water over a single drum and cymbal in the center of the stage and pounded away creating explosive splashes that became more increasingly more forceful as the song progressed.
After the very wet and equally triumphant “Drum Song,” The Temper Trap disappeared offstage for nearly ten minutes before returning to the relentless cheers of the enthusiastic crowd. Mandagi recognized some familiar faces in the front row and dedicated the first song of the encore, “Solider On,” to a squealing female fan in the front row who made a 4-hour trek to see her favorite band for the sixth time.
The phenomenal encore made it easy to understand why The Temper Trap are rapidly developing a bit of a cult following. The stunning, slow-building “Soldier On” and perhaps their best new song, “I’m Gonna Wait,” reinvigorated the already amped crowd. But the audiences’ screams exceeded to a deafening level when the band played the first bombastic note of their massive 2009 hit, “Sweet Disposition,” sending chills down the spines of everyone in attendance. Mandagi even hopped off the stage and immersed himself into the crowd to belt out every lyric in unison with his adoring fans. The stellar performance made it clear there’s a very bright future ahead for the band who promises they won’t stop ’til it’s overrrr.
- London’s Burning (Repeater)
- Never Again
- Love Lost
- The Sea is Calling
- Rabbit Hole
- This Isn’t Happiness
- Trembling Hands
- Science of Fear
- Drum Song
- Soldier On
- I’m Gonna Wait
- Sweet Disposition