By Eileen Tilson; photos by Patricia Smith
With the constant spinning of “Sweet Disposition” on the radio, it was not surprising to walk into The Loft on Friday, and hear the ticket girl proclaim that The Temper Trap‘s show was “officially” sold out. It was wall to wall people in the smoky Loft, as Danish band The Kissaway Trail took the stage. From their very Williamsburg look, they could have easily been mistaken as another Brooklyn export. They obviously took their music very seriously, and although the music was not bad (very atmospheric, heavy drums, synth pop) it sounded very much like early Death Cab for Cutie. Known for their slant on the English language, it was hard not to categorize them as another indie band from Denmark, who unfortunately lacked the creativity and talent that their elders, Mew and The Ravonettes, bring to the table.
Dougie Mandagi took the stage, looking like he just got back from a trip home to Indonesia in his floral shirt. His voice was on point, hitting every note, proving their live show was on par with their produced album. They started playing with mid-level energy throughout their short 40-minute set, with a few die-hard fans singing along and bouncing around, but most of the crowd chatting through even the slower songs, including the melodic, “Soldier On,” where lead guitarist Lorenzo Sillitto traded his guitar temporarily to play keyboards. Mandagi had some very Stevie Wonder-like moves, and when he sang a cappella, his intensity was fierce. There was not much crowd interaction, until the second to the last song, “Sweet Disposition” was played, where drinks began to be raised. They ended their set with the “Drum Song,” a tribal beat, which unfortunately started pushing most of the crowd out the door. After an inappropriately long break, the band came back and played the second single “Science of Fear” of their debut album Collections, and rocked it with strong guitar riffs, creating the “wall of sound” they are known for.
Being the debut album, it was understandable that The Temper Trap played a short set, but when the opening act plays longer than the headliner, it makes for a strange event. All in all the show was a success, great marketing and a song on the radio still does equal a packed house. Perhaps with a few more rounds of touring The Temper Trap will be ready for the arenas they aspire to; regardless this is definitely a band to keep your eye on.
The Temper Trap Set List:
Rabbit Hole (new song)
Science of Fear