The Temper Trap show promise at HOB

, Contributing Writer

Like a heavyweight fighter coming out of their corner right at the sound of the bell, The Temper Trap went at the audience at House of Blues in Boston with the speed and power to knock people onto their backs. There were some weaknesses that came with their approach. But, the crowd certainly got their money’s worth with the sheer awe that came with The Temper Trap’s performance.

Forming back in 2005, the indie rock act got their start in Melbourne, Australia. Releasing their first album Conditions, the group’s popularity soared with the hit single “Sweet Disposition”, which was featured in a number of television ads, shows and movies. With the recently released self-titled sopohmore album, the band has shown the determination to build on their previous success.

While the group can definitely show off its power, some of the weaknesses of the band stem from the lack of imagination in its formula. “Need Your Love” is a glaring example of a lack of lyrical creativity. Even with the new album, the vast majority of the band’s material is directly centered on the vocal prowess of vocalist Dougy Mandagi. In almost Coldplay-esque fashion, songs, and subsequently performances, will often live or die by the execution of Mandagi. And even then, those searching for things beyond soaring ballads will find themselves wanting with The Temper Trap.

That being said, the command of Dougy Mandagi and the rest of The Temper Trap is nothing to shake at. Thursday’s show was incredibly sharp and definitely hit the crowd with more than it could handle. Right when the drums starting to kick in with opener “London’s Burning”, the atmosphere of the room immediately lit up and stood at attention throughout. The sheer polish of songs like “Fader” and new single “Trembling Hands” highlighted the band’s ability to shake one to the core.

One of the band’s most powerful performances came at the end of the first set with “Drum Song”. With this song, Mandagi took a rare back seat, providing additional percussions to the song rather than his signature voice. The rest of the band proceeded to take the lead and laid down a memorable showing, complete with a drumming performance that evoked images of Blue Man Group.

The band’s encore was equally memorable, ending with the band’s signature song “Sweet Disposition”. It has yet to be seen whether or not the band will be able to move beyond that one song that was able to capture so many of their fans. However, judging from the band’s new material and the sheer dominance of their performance, those entranced by The Temper Trap will most likely find comfort in the trap they find themselves in.

Setlist
1.  London’s Burning
2.  Need Your Love
3.  Down River
4.  Love Lost
5.  Miracle
6.  Rabbit Hole
7.  Fader
8.  This Isn’t Happiness
9.  Trembling Hands
10. Dreams
11. Science of Fear
12. Resurrection
13. Drum Song
  Encore
14. Soldier On
15. I’m Gonna Wait
16. Sweet Disposition

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