GIG REVIEW | THE TEMPER TRAP @ FORUM THEATRE
Amongst the Forum Theatre’s antique architectural fittings, fans were taken back to a Romanesque time of music and arts, until the modern electronic synth and heavy drum beats began to rock the floor. On tour for their self titled second album, last night The Temper Trap took to the stage. Opening the show with their very own rendition of the London Riots, appropriately titled London’s Burning. A tune that well and truly had the fans of the forum theatre burning with excitement.
The Melbourne indie-rock band, The temper Trap formed in 2005, composing of members Dougy Mandagi on vocals, Johnathon Aherne on the bass guitar, Tony Dundas on drums, Lorenzo Sillitto on lead guitar and Joeseph Greer on keyboards and guitar. Following the commercial success of their debut album ‘Conditions’, released in 2009, the band is now happy to present fans with their second album, self titled ‘The Temper Trap’. Rather than producing an identical copy of their lucrative first album, the band has managed to maintain a delicate balance between their trademark sounds as well as their use of new wave synth, and create an entirely new album. Without loosing their idiosyncratic take on indie-rock, the Temper Trap has also managed to protect themselves from the dreaded second album syndrome. This second album does require repeated listening before it grows on you and proves its charm, though regardless it still hits the mark with the caliber of ‘Conditions’.
“Happy to be back home” were the exact words of lead vocalist Dougy Mandagi as he took to the stage and greeted his adoring fans. Red lighting filled the arena, as eyewitness accounts and news voice overs added to the heavy bass balled depicting the London riots. Out of the album this song particularly was not a favourite of mine, and I’m not entirely sure why either. But once Dougy took hold of that microphone and began to chant, “ehhh London’s burning” with a swift clap of his hands, I became hooked. Coupled with the live performance, this ballad had now become a favourite. As the sea of fans swayed in unison to the indie rock beats of the bands alluring musical potent, the Forum Theatre became a lyrical temple. With devotees filling the entire space just to get a glimpse of the indie-rock icons up on stage.
As quite a short band enthusiast myself and with an overly tall giant-like man in front of me, it became my objective to catch a glance of the stage, regardless of which awkward position my body would be forced to stand in. For the thrill of the band and the desire to snap that perfect Facebook photo I was on a mission to find prime forum theatre location. Squeezing my way through the sea of people, I managed to find the perfect position, despite leaving my taller entourage behind. Regardless of being alone amidst a crowd, the emotionally charged anthems and the amazing use of lighting kept me company. As well as the full view I had of the band and all their glory.
Surrounded by devotees we fuelled our addictions, stocking up on the sweet sappy sorrow of heart felt relationship ballads, all with our iPhones out at the ready. The raw pain within lead singer Dougy Mandagi’s voice is almost, but not quite, overshadowed by the pure vibrations of the bass. His effortless confidence and charming dance moves, add to the thrill of the experience. Upholding their minimal less-is-more approach to the album as well as the show, the Temper Trap has left fans feeling enlightened and in awe. The use of extravagant theatre lighting, cued at exactly the right moments throughout the ballads adds to the atmosphere as well as the possible post-show blindness.
As their encore, the Temper Trap ended the show with their old favorites, ‘Solider on’ and ‘Sweet disposition’. The beautiful strumming of the acoustic guitar, by lead vocalist Dougy, had fans on edge with excitement for the lyrics, which were to come. As the guitar paired up with the heavy beats of the drums, the classic sounds of ‘Solider On’ made their way into our ears. Whilst enjoying the moment, it became blissful overload as the notes of ‘Sweet Disposition’ filled the Forum Theatre air. The crowd went wild, as is expected for the bands biggest hit. A slow soothing start coupled with Dougy’s sweet vocals then led into the full throttle power of the chorus. An extravagant and quite appropriate ending to a show filled with lyrical genius, and musical pleasure. To say the least, I was sad that it had to end.