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Live Review: The Temper Trap @ The Triffid

© Tom Sue Yek

It’s hard to believe they’re just four guys from the Melbourne ‘burbs as Dougy Mandagi (vocals, guitar), Jonathon Aherne (bass), Toby Dundus (drums), and Joseph Greer (lead guitar) stroll onstage. Looking comfortable as ever, The Temper Trap make their long-awaited return to Brisbane, gracing a sold-out and vocal crowd at The Triffid.

Their hair may have only grown a few inches, but their career has grown by miles. Over the last decade the indie-rocker’s two albums have seen them take home multiple ARIA awards, tour the world, and now return to OZ with a sold-out Australian tour. Needless to say it was time for more music. In February, The Temper Trap generously decided to grace the public with a thirst-quenching single, four years after their previous release. February delivered Thick As Thieves, followed by their latest single off the forthcoming album (praise the lord) Fall Together last month.

I personally had been waiting over five years to see The Temper Trap live and the anticipation had set my expectations high. I can gladly say they were exceeded (no bias, I swear). Opening with Thick As Thieves, there was an uneasiness in the room as you could pick out the fans who panicked at not being aware of the new track.

The song didn’t even make it to the chorus before every one had caught onto the catchy beat and pop-infused chorus. An identifying organ chimed in and the crowd went wild, it was time for Love Lost. Precise clapping and an the voices of the crowd filled The Triffid. “I promise!” the crowd yelled back to Mandagi as he furrowed his brow with emotion.

© Tom Sue Yek

Seeing The Temper Trap live was more than just enjoying a new version of their music, or hearing your favourite songs in person. They’re the type of band to put every inch of their soul into a performance and it could be felt throughout the entire venue. You could feel every word Mandagi vowed and every note Greer held and strummed.

Trialling a song from the forthcoming album, The Temper Trap treated their Brisbane supporters with So Much Sky. Not much has change about the Melbourne outfits sounds but they have developed slightly poppier hooks.

Mandagi whipped out his bright red maraca to perform a new song from the forthcoming album called Alive. It was a euphoric explosion of pure happiness as the band sang “It feels so good… so good to be alive”. The track was simple, but amplified with energy and uplifting lyrics that the crowd latched on to. The Temper Trap pulled some extra goodies from the bag with their Like A Version. Only a few days earlier the band hit up triple j with Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Multi-Love, which displayed Mandagi’s vocal control in it’s finest form.

The stand-out moment of the set was Soldier On as Mandagi stood centre stage with minimal backing. In unison, the crowd sang along with every word. It felt as though the room was frozen; it was as if you moved, the moment would break. It was a show like no other, even the lights were a visual feast. The return of The Temper Trap was well worth the wait.

“Thick As Thieves” is due to be released Friday 10th June.

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Photos by Tom Sue Yek