On The Download: The Temper Trap At The Henry Fonda Theater

Jonathon Aherne of The Temper Trap performs on stage on day two of The Falls Festival 2009 held in Otway rainforest, Lorne, Australia, December 30, 2009 Jonathon Aherne of The Temper Trap performs on stage on day two of The Falls Festival 2009 held in Otway rainforest, Lorne, Australia, December 30, 2009

I caught the Temper Trap concert at The Music Box at the Henry Fonda Theater last night in Hollywood. I had only become familiar with them fairly recently after hearing their song “Sweet Disposition” on an episode of my favorite British TV show, “Skins.” I know the song has been around for a while, but I was somehow a little late to the party on this one.

But I’m here now! “Sweet Disposition” is a deeply rich-sounding song that gets in your head and stays there… but in a good way. Though it’s a little difficult to understand the lyrics at first, so I recommend looking those up. After catching the “Sweet” fever, I started listening to more of their songs and fell in love with the quick beats of the music and distinct falsetto of lead singer Dougie Mandagi. The snappy, beat heavy “Fader” and the softer, whimsical “Love Lost,” both from their 2009 album “Conditions,” stood out to me the most. The offbeat, funky, almost psychedelic sound had me hooked from the beginning. My interest was piqued, so what was I to do next? Watch them live, of course… which we all know is a very different experience than listening to a band on your iPod while at the gym.

So off to The Music Box I went (A fabulous venue for live bands, I must add!)! The band took the stage at 10:15 PM and opened to a screaming, sold out crowd. While it was hard to take my eyes off of lead singer Mandagi as his voice took flight, I found myself mesmerized by the bass player, who was obviously enjoying being on stage; he was having his own little party by swaying heavily to every song.

Mandagi’s sweetly powered voice filled the venue. Man, that guy can SING! Yeah, he can hit the high notes, but even when his regular singing voice is put to use, it’s just as enthralling. But wait! There’s more! The last song before their encore, he busted out his own impressive drumming skills with smoke rising up out of the drum. It was quite the spectacle. They came back out for a two-song encore and the set finished up around 11:05. It may have been a rather short, 50-minute set, but it was a packed performance, well worth the time and money. Sometimes it’s the little things about a live show that I love the most, like hand clapping along with a drummer to their percussion.

This was the first stop on their U.S. Tour. If they come to your city, be sure to check out their show (And maybe look up the lyrics first, if you wanna sing along).

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