The Temper Trap Rocks The El Rey

The Temper Trap Rocks The El Rey

By Mike Duffy

At the close of their two-night stand at Los Angeles’ El Rey Theatre, The Temper Trap played to a packed house of devoted fans.

There was a buzz in the capacity crowd as the clock neared The Temper Trap’s 10 p.m. (PST) start time.

Although singer Dougy Mandagi told fans to expect a slew of new and unfamiliar songs early in The Temper Trap’s set, that enthusiasm never waned.

“We’re going to play a couple of new ones so stick through it,” Mandagi warned.  “You’ll like them, I swear.”

Well, the audience stuck it out, and Mandagi proved to be right.

With their sophomore album set to drop in the U.S. on June 5, The Temper Trap turned in a stunning performance that featured Mandagi’s effortlessly soaring vocals and the versatile work of guitarist Lorenzo Stillito.

A fan records Mandagi as he lifts his voice. 

Drummer Toby Dundas and bassist Jonathon Aherne kept a super-tight rhythm section, while 2008 full-time addition Joseph Greer filled in any gaps on keyboards and guitars when needed.

The Temper Trap followed Los Angeles-based openers Papa, who are building a strong local crowd with their addictively-danceable shows.

Papa, led by drummer Darren Weiss and bassist Danny Presant, had just come off a grueling but well-received string of shows at the South by Southwest music festival, but were just as energetic as ever.

Weiss even came out from behind his kit to slap high-fives with the front row during their hit “I Am The Lion King” off their recent EP A Good Woman is Hard to Find.

Meanwhile, the Temper Trap certainly knows how to get the best out of their instruments, and everyone but Dundas seemed to switch from guitars to keyboards to extra percussion with every song.

And the Australian rockers were on point, no matter what each member was playing, and no matter if it was a new tune or a classic off their debut album, Conditions.

That showed on their second song, “Need Your Love.” The lead single for their upcoming eponymous album feeds off Dundas’ driving groove and Mandagi chipping in on another drum.

The Temper Trap brought it back to familiar territory with their third offering, the wistful “Love Lost” with Mandagi hitting falsetto notes with aplomb.

Later, The Temper Trap broke out “Trembling Hands” off their upcoming release, along with the already-leaked “Rabbit Hole” as their encore.

Both freshies were met with solid fan response.

Of course, the highlights came with the most-recognized tunes, and rightfully so, with “Love Lost,” “Drum Song” and the finale “Sweet Disposition” appearing in television shows and commercials since they were first unleashed in 2009.

But still, The Temper Trap’s latest material represents growth as a band while keeping their signature sound.

And judging by the young crowd’s reaction, The Temper Trap’s eponymous second album has even more gems to add to their catalog.

The Temper Trap released a preview of “Rabbit Hole.”

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