Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Temper Trap in NYC

It was the tale of two venues as Australia's The Temper Trap celebrated the release of their anticipated self-titled sophomore album in New York City this week. First for the band was a sold-out gig at the 3,000 person capacity Terminal 5 and then the following night at the much more intimate and private Ed Sullivan Theater.

On Tuesday as the acclaimed band put out their latest record, they took the stage at 10p.m. at Terminal 5 for what was their unofficial record release party. The band has grown in attention through the years for their mix of ambient sounds, heavy drum and bass and very catchy songs. Lead singer Dougy Mandagi, whose alto falsetto voice is reminiscent of former Fine Young Cannibals singer Roland Gift, escalates the bands swelling sound as his vocal range constantly ebb's and flows with the sound his bandmates create. The packed crowd at Terminal 5 seemed to be into the band as they debuted new songs to New York, yet at points, the sound of the band would be drowned out by the amount of crowd members chatting with one another. As the band did their best to mix most old songs with their new ones, Mandagi jumped into the audience and grabbed everyones attention by breaking down the fourth wall to sing to the crowd, it was at this point he had the audience eating out of his hand. As the night heated up inside Terminal 5, as did The Temper Trap. In their hour and fifteen minute set, the band managed to pull off very simple, yet effective, tricks as Mandagi would pour water on a floor Tom-Tom drum and mimic what Blue Man Group would do with lights and liquid. While the crowd responded well to the new songs, it was the band's closing number and breakthrough single, "Sweet Disposition," that had everyone really at their feet.

As the band closed the books on their big New York album release show, they had to do it again but this time with a catch - for a private live audience and a global audience streaming the concert online. In a taping for the acclaimed Live on Letterman webseries, contest winners, fans and industry folk gathered in the iconic Ed Sullivan Theater to watch the band perform in an intimate hour-long set. Unlike the night before, the band stuck mainly to new songs, only performing "Love Lost" and "Sweet Disposition" closing again, off their debut. As they sounded simply perfect, not much was done for showmanship like the night before, however, bassist Jonathan Aherne looked like he was in his own little world dancing and grooving to the sounds of his band. While The Temper Trap look to their future, the band was simply focused on doing their musical best for the Letterman crowd, and they did.