Live Review: The Temper Trap with Delphic and the Hundred in the Hands at the Trocadero, Philadelphia – 26th September 2010

By on Tuesday, 28th September 2010 at 2:00 pm

It is indeed something truly special when the stars align and allow the beleaguered blogger to see not just one band, not two, but three that she adores. I got that chance Sunday night at the Trocadero, a historic former burlesque theatre in Philadelphia, with The Temper Trap as the headliner and Delphic and The Hundred in the Hands providing support. Punters that had assembled for the long queue outside the venue before doors knew next to nothing about the opening bands and maybe knew the Temper Trap well or somewhat vaguely. Not a great start. But once inside, I managed a second row vista, perfect with the Trocadero’s far too high stage for such a smallish club. I met some very devoted Temper Trap fans who needed some background on the other two bands, which I was happy to provide.

Regular readers of TGTF already know I think the Hundred in the Hands’ debut album released last week is fantastic. Live, I was pleased with their performance and how they sounded. For most of their set, lead singer / synth player Eleanore Everdell sang into a pod-shaped microphone and was ‘buckled down’ to where her synth was. I reckon she’s got so much rhythm within her, she’d make an amazing dancer onstage (think Friendly Fires). Jason Friedman’s guitar riffs added punch to ‘Last City’, which is rapidly racing up my list of current favourite tracks. I was hopeful that ‘Pigeons’ would get people dancing. Well, there were some people dancing – myself and my new friends in second row. The people in front of us looked bored for pretty much the entire night, exanimate. Kind of frustrating I suppose given that the Hundred in the Hands aren’t exactly mainstream in America yet.

Same goes for Delphic, who in my opinion fared far better in the opening band popularity contest (despite drummer Dan Hadley nearly deafening the early assembled crowd testing his drum kit on ‘Doubt’). A bloke next to me who’d shown up specifically for them showed me a clipping from NME where the band was lying on the floor, looking uncomfortable in leather (you know the one I’m talking about, I bet). Besides myself and him, I think we were the only ones who’d ever knowingly heard a Delphic song before.

I was hoping they’d play ‘Submission’ for personal reasons but when you’re an opener, you have to pick and choose the best from what you’ve got to play, and I think they chose all the right ones to pick up the energy in the crowd. ‘Red Lights’ concluded with an extended synth-laden outro that got the crowd cheering. The sheer magnificence of ‘Counterpoint’, with a steady build-up from the resigned lyrics to the incredible swell of sound at the end, finally got everyone in the club into the music. I remember when I heard ‘Counterpoint’ as a single last year. I knew it was dramatic, but I hadn’t realised just how dramatic until I saw Delphic live this summer at Roskilde, and this was demonstrated even further in Philadelphic. Also, not sure how long he’s been giving it his 110%, but Rick Boardman is really going for those high backing vocal notes with passion. I’m looking forward to their new material and where they go from here.

After watching the support, the booking of two heavily synth-based acts as openers for the Temper Trap made complete sense. They warmed up the crowd both literally and figuratively for the headliner. The response to the Temper Trap live show was deafening. From people I talked to, most people had never seen them ever play, yet were very excited to see them and after the show, they were rendered speechless. Apparently some hippies out there think they are pretty cool as well; about halfway through the set I could smell something burning, and it smelled terrible. Conferring with some ‘older’ punters, we concluded someone in the Troc was smoking pot. What was this, a Grateful Dead show? But never mind about that…

The Aussies give a high octane show that has few slow moments, a smart move to keep momentum going throughout the night. I thought it was strange that crowd pleaser ‘Sweet Disposition’ was played so early in the set, but after further reflection, I confirmed they played the same exact set list Mary Beth and I saw at the 9:30 in April. I guess they’re used to the order. I suppose they can be forgiven for this, since they’ve been touring virtually nonstop all year. Still, it’ll be a fantastic thing when the band has another album out and another 10 to 12 tracks they can include to add even more firepower to their live show.

The Hundred in the Hands Photos:

Delphic Set List:
Clarion Call
Red Lights
This Momentary

Delphic Photos:

The Temper Trap Set List:
Down River
Love Lost
Soldier On
Sweet Disposition
Drumming Song
Rabbit Hole
Science of Fear

The Temper Trap Photos:

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2 Responses

[…] Is the Crookes' first real release worth your hard-earned money? Johnny sets off to find out… The Temper Trap and friends in Philly The City of Brotherly Love gets cozy with everyone's favouri… Q & A: The Postelles (Part 2) In the second half of their interview with Mary. the Postelles talk […]

[…] Is the Crookes' first real release worth your hard-earned money? Johnny sets off to find out… The Temper Trap and friends in Philly The City of Brotherly Love gets cozy with everyone's favouri… Q & A: The Postelles (Part 2) In the second half of their interview with Mary. the Postelles talk […]

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