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The Temper Trap Triumphantly Return in Brooklyn
“Did you miss us? We missed you,” said Dougy Mandagi, frontman of The Temper Trap, to the spirited crowd at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg.
Three long years have passed since the Australian band released their debut album, Conditions, to acclamatory reviews. In anticipation of the release of their self-titled sophomore album, The Temper Trap took to the road, introducing new songs at SXSW music festival, then to multitudes over a sold-out North American tour. On Thursday night, fans in Brooklyn found it nearly impossible to bate giddy enthusiasm for the ARIA award-winning band’s return.
Following Penguin Prison’s engaging opening set, the crowd at the Music Hall was ripe & thrilled to receive rich doses of optimism from The Temper Trap’s enlivening songs. The venue was alive with applause at the mere sight of the quintet (keyboardist/guitarist Joseph Greer had recently been inducted the band’s fifth member). The band opened with songs from their unreleased album, to a blissfully receptive & lively audience. When the crowd vivaciously sang aloud to “Need Your Love” (from The Temper Trap, 2012), Mandagi couldn’t help but smile – the new single had been released online only days earlier!
The band went on to play “Lost” (from Conditions, 2009), a familiar tune to which the audience erupted in ovation. After “Rabbit Hole” & “This Isn’t Happiness” (both from The Temper Trap, 2012), Mandagi humbly surveyed the crowd, “We’re playing some new songs. How’s it going? We’ll play some old songs, I promise.” As if the fans needed reassuring! There was seemingly no end to the crowd’s animated appreciation, & the band reciprocated affectionately, delivering an emotionally-rousing set. Vocalist Mandagi spearheaded powerhouse performances by taking on many roles – playing electric guitar, drums (often on the same set as drummer Toby Dundas), & a mean blue tambourine. In “Trembling Hands” (from The Temper Trap, 2012), he hit earth-shattering sustained notes in his famous falsetto.
All was not without an endearing blunder, however. At the start of “Dreams” (from The Temper Trap, 2012), Mandagi asked the band members to restart the song, comically citing “technical problems”. In a sheepish display, protesting bravado, he lightheartedly confessed to the crowd, “You know what the technical problem was? I technically forgot the words!” He later chalked it up to having “twice as many words to memorize”.
In contrast to many touring bands that tend toward a flashy modus operandi, The Temper Trap employed an otherworldly ardor. “Science of Fear”, “Resurrection”, & “Drum Song” (all from Conditions, 2009) simply oozed indie rock badassery. They were followed by two encore songs, “I’m Gonna Wait” (from The Temper Trap, 2012) & an explosive performance of “Sweet Disposition” (from Conditions, 2009), cementing the band’s arena-worthy status. The Australian band exhibited a mastery of musical ethereality with a phenomenal set, full of airy melodies & celestial indie rock. It’s hard not to fall into The Temper Trap.
Photo courtesy of Albert Brian www.delaobscura.com