"It's a big night for Boston!" The Temper Trap's lead singer, Dougy Mandagi, emphatically shouted into the microphone.
After peeling off his white jean jacket and tapping his black and red Nikes against the stage floor, the guitar kicked in and the base of the drum began to rhythmically thump against my chest. The vibrations viciously rattled the tambourine dangling from the boomerang bolted to the mic stand, paying homage to the band's Australian roots.
In the midst of the NBA playoffs, on a lucrative night for the Boston Celtics, a crowd charged by Indie rock music filed into a venue designed to hold 2,400 people. Despite the Celtics game playing on three separate televisions, 2,400 sets of eyes shifted the moment The Temper Trap took to the stage. The lights dimmed and the crowd roared. For the next hour, The Temper Trap commanded full attention at The House of Blues in Boston, Massachusetts.
The concert was a brilliant concoction; seasoned songs, like old familiar friends, that I wanted to sit down and have coffee with. The band rekindled the song "Fader" which I'd heard thousands of times and could hear thousands more. While the crowd reacquainted themselves with tracks from the band's first album "Conditions" it was impossible to miss the excitement in the air as The Temper Trap played tracks from their newly released self titled album. A new song titled "Rabbit Hole" surfaced like a new romance, mysterious and intriguing.
It was Mandagi's sincere sentiment matched by Joseph Greer on the keyboards, which outshined even the brightest blue spotlights. The song "Trembling Hands" completely captivated the audience. Mandagi's gaze read distant, nostalgic, and melancholy, and as he sang, "Throw me a line, somebody out there help me, I'm on my own." I understood the proverbial feeling of loneliness despite being surrounded by over two thousand people. It was a message that perhaps reflected life on the road away from friends, family, and even relationships.
It reflected the bands capability of making their audience not only hear their music, but feel it.
In between emotional Indie ballads, the Australian fivesome invited the audience to lose themselves in pure rock, mixing a new synthesized vibe with their classic sound. Bassist Johnny Aherne danced back and forth on James Brown heels as if his feet were on fire, while lead guitarist Lorenzo Sillitto vigorously ripped into guitar solos. The two guitar players smiled facing each other demonstrating a connection that only friends among band mates could possibly hold.
The Temper Trap infused their well known, laid back appearance with an energetic twist. Half way through the show Mandagi approached drummer Toby Dundas, and dragged a single drum to the center of the stage. The lights dimmed casting only silhouettes as he reached for a water bottle and impulsively emptied it onto the drum. As Mandagi smashed the drumsticks against the top of the drum, both the crowd and the water exploded.
This electricity made the songs, the crowd, and the night, come alive.
Their set ended leaving the audience wanting more. Of course they returned for an encore to perform two songs from their first album. The band chose to play "Soldier On" and the infamous international hit, "Sweet Disposition." Mandagi's feathery falsetto rose to the rafters and every Temper Trap fan sang along through the chorus as the concert came to a close.
One thing is for certain, it was a big night for Boston.
The Temper Trap were in town.