Concert Reviews

The Temper Trap at Phoenix Concert Theatre

To a raucous audience cheer of “Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi”, Australian’s The Temper Trap took to the stage on Friday night in support of their latest studio album, Thick as Thieves. Half of the tunes on their sixteen song setlist were selections from the album, including the album’s opener (and show opener), its title track, as well as current single “Fall Together”.

The quartet opted not to address the crowd for the majority of their set, focusing instead on their primary task, playing great music. A guitar solo and instrumental conclusion to “Summer’s Almost Gone”, also taken off the new album, was especially epic with guitarist Joseph Greer flailing his instrument around while delivering each note. Vocalist and frontman, Dougy Mandagi, constantly showcased his stellar set of pipes. This was especially apparent in selections from the band’s debut album, Conditions – moving from clean falsetto to powerful belt in “Resurrection”, evoking strong emotions of melancholy in “Soldier On”, and an anthemic nostalgia in crowd favourite and closer “Sweet Disposition”.

The aptly named “Drum Song” served as the final tune prior to their encore. For this instrumental track, a makeshift drum kit was brought to the front of the stage so that Mandagi could accompany drummer Toby Dundas in a percussion-filled finale. The audience in turn added their own sounds to the mix with enthusiastic hand claps.

As they returned onstage for the encore, the band finally broke their silence, addressing the crowd for the first time, “not bad Toronto, not bad”. After snapping a few phone selfies alongside the crowd, he thanked the audience, thanked the openers, and even thanked their label rep. The evening came to a close as Mandagi and Dundas played a single drumkit, before launching into their breakout hit, “Sweet Disposition”. It was interesting how markedly different their audience interaction was pre and post encore, with Mandagi even jumping down into the photo pit to sing along with the crowd for their final song. But the crowd appreciated both ends of the interaction spectrum, singing and bouncing along with the music throughout the entire set.

About author

Katrina is a writer and photographer at Live in Limbo. You can follow her musical adventures at @thekatalysts.