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Live Review: The Temper Trap with Penguin Prison at 9:30 Club, Washington DC – 31st March 2012

By on Wednesday, 11th April 2012 at 2:00 pm

The Temper Trap made a triumphant return to DC after two years when they co-headlined with Florence and the Machine. Sadly for the Temper Trap, that night was Florence Welch’s second-ever performance in the United States, and it overshadowed the Aussie band. (Read the review of that gig here). This gig was nothing like that.

Supporting them was New York-based Penguin Prison. An electro-pop band, I was curious as to the combination of them and the Temper Trap, but it worked really quite well. I saw Penguin Prison play a year and a half ago and can say their performance has greatly improved. Drawing from the band’s 2011 self-titled debut album, Chris Glover had the crowd dancing even at the obscenely early hour of 7 PM. Glover was bold enough to go out in the crowd several times, much to the enthusiasm of a small cadre of fans. Nothing warms my heart more than when the support act has a couple of die-hard fans in the crowd who sing every word. Penguin Prison are making the rounds in town, as they are returning to the very same club in support of Miike Snow in 2 months and a headline gig the following month.

Making a short run through the United States in anticipation of their self-titled, sophomore effort to be released on 21 May, the Temper Trap took the stage to a sold out crowd who was ready to hear them rock the place. With the scarcity of these pre-release dates, there were punters from far and wide at the show that night, anxious to hear the new material. The band did not disappoint. Of their 13-song set, 8 songs were new. Lead singer Dougy Mandagi still has all the moves, and is still making the girls scream “I love you, Dougy!” from mid-room. Truth be known, I felt like he had more stage presence than 2 years ago, but I would expect that after touring the world.

Included in the new songs were ‘Rabbit Hole’, ‘Need Your Love’ (the first single that I reviewed here), ‘The Sea is Calling’, ‘Trembling Hands’, and ‘Happiness’. This last song lamented “Whatever it is, whatever is past, this isn’t happiness, it leaves me feeling less, this isn’t happiness.” Both ‘The Sea is Calling’ and ‘Trembling Hands’ were gripping and had bass so strong it resonated throughout my entire body, causing even my vision to shake. Of course ‘Drum Song’ is still as great as ever (sans the water poured on the top of Mandagi’s drum head) and gathered the crowd together in one big tribal dance to close out the regular set. I must say I am still curious about the spate of lead singers sporting drums up front with them. Couldn’t say who was first, but there sure are a lot of them now.

Two birthday girls, with very dedicated friends, got the attention of Mandagi and bassist Jonathon Aherne before the final song and the band obligingly had everyone sing happy birthday “to Kim and Liz”. I was near one of them, and despite her visible embarrassment, it clearly made her night. They closed out the night with popular single ‘Sweet Disposition’ had the crowd swelling with love for the band. Mandagi left the stage saying they were coming back later in the year. Despite the lack of a DC date on the current summer schedule, the crowd took that as a positive sign that it would be added later.

After the cut: set lists.

Continue reading Live Review: The Temper Trap with Penguin Prison at 9:30 Club, Washington DC – 31st March 2012


MP3 of the Day #374: Penguin Prison

By on Monday, 8th August 2011 at 10:00 am

Today’s MP3 of the Day is a remix of Penguin Prison‘s ‘Fair Warning’ by South London house act Dirty Vegas. I like this version: it’s fun, flirty and as should be expected, has a monster groove. Listen to it and download it below.


MP3(s) of the Day #357: Penguin Prison

By on Thursday, 16th June 2011 at 10:00 am

New York City’s Penguin Prison returned to the music scene earlier this month with a brand-new single, ‘Multi-Millionaire’. And he decided to give something a little special to fans. Well, seven special somethings, in the form of remixes of the single. Listen and download them below to your heart’s content. There’s even a teaser of the next single, ‘Fair Warning’.


MP3 of the Day #162: Penguin Prison

By on Wednesday, 24th March 2010 at 10:00 am

We’re a bit late on the ol’ Penguin Prison train it seems. The NYC singer/songwriter/artist has been burning up the web for a few months now it seems, and his new single “The Worse It Gets”, was released yesterday. Ignoring the slightly dodgy lyrics (about his car “Jenny” that “takes him anywhere”), it’s a funk-tastic stroll through 70’s disco, 80’s synths, 90’s guilty pleasures and 00’s coolness. The track was co-written by the gang of Holy Ghost!, so naturally, it’s a pretty amazing creation.

Whilst you’re enjoying the track below, also enjoy two remixes of two of our favourite songs from last year – Marina and the Diamonds’ I Am Not A Robot and Golden Silvers’ True Romance. What do you think? Leave a comment below and let us know.

MP3: Penguin Prison – The Worse It Gets

MP3: Marina and the Diamonds – I Am Not A Robot (Penguin Prison remix)

MP3: Golden Silvers – True Romance (Penguin Prison remix)


About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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