FreeFest: Drama club with the Temper Trap
By David Malitz
The Temper Trap play montage music -- the kind of sweeping, atmospheric rock that might seem dramatic if you heard it during the climax of a movie as star-crossed lovers race toward each other in the pouring rain. All in slow motion, of course.
Absent any visual cues to tell you how to feel, the Australian quintet's songs are just, well, kind of boring. The performance is exceedingly professional and occasionally stirring, mostly when frontman Dougy Mandagi trades vocal wailing for wailing on a floor tom to join drummer Toby Dundas in creating a forceful, percussive rumble. But ultimately, it's very predictable -- the surges and harmonies come exactly when you'd expect each time.
As a singer, Mandagi favors extended "ooooohs" and "ahhhhs" while his bandmates borrow liberally from the "How to Sound Like U2" playbook.
What's one way to give the band's songs the cinematic feel they strive for? Listen to them from atop a Ferris wheel, which is an opportunity afforded you today at Merriweather. I watched a bit of their set from that vantage point, and when you get a bird's-eye view of a few thousand fans, many of them clapping their hands as the band hits one of its crescendos, it at least came close to feeling like a special moment.
| September 25, 2010; 1:43 PM ET
Categories: Live blogging | Tags: Virgin Mobile FreeFest
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