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Concert review: The Temper Trap

Comeback kids

Concert review: The Temper Trap
This time, we're not just here for Sweet Disposition

The Coliseum has seen many returning greats whose sounds have come to life within the outdoor venue's confines at Resorts World Sentosa. Take M83 and Of Monsters and Men, two acts who've made their Singapore debut in St. Jerome's Laneway Festival years before. Another returning Laneway alumni was The Temper Trap with their first solo Singapore show after closing the festival in 2011.

Six years on, the Melbourne rockers now have three albums under their belt, but with one man down: Guitarist Lorenzo Sillitto, who left the band in the midst of recording their latest record, Thick As Thieves (2016). Despite the change, there was nothing amiss as Dougy Mandagi, Jonathon Aherne and Toby Dundas took to the stage, which was simply set up without any backdrop, band visuals or title. Just four guys with a mission: To connect with the Singapore audience (a "talented crowd", as Mandagi lamented halfway through the evening) who've stuck with them from the very start, but also know there's more to them than Sweet Disposition.

Dougy Mandagi splashes water with the drums
Starting the 17-song set with Thick As Thieves, their title track off the new album, the foursome launched into a high-octane evening with a good mix of anthems from Conditions (2009) and Thick As Thieves. Love Lost had punters clapping in unison towards the end, while Burn certainly made the lot "feel alive" with the echo of its guitar riffs and uplifting bridge and chorus. The momentum slowed down for Trembling Hands, an emotive number from their second self-titled album (2012) that's been remixed by the likes of Chet Faker and Benny Benassi. Mandagi started a sing-a-long to the "oh eh oh eh oh" background of So Much Sky, which also made a fan in front of me air-drum throughout the performance — signalling a committed crowd. 

Summer's Almost Gone was an exercise in intimacy, with Mandagi's hollow cries making sorrow sound good through the electronic moments of the song. The band picked up its pace with Science of Fear, while Mandagi showed off his spine-tingling falsetto in Resurrection. He switched up the guitar for a maraca in Alive before moving onto drums, complete with water splashes and a drumstick toss for good measure. The night ended with Sweet Disposition as the encore — but of course. Mobile phones were immediately thrusted into the air as the audience viewed the gig through other people's screens as you do these days.

The Temper Trap in Singapore
Though the band barely spoke during the set (not that they needed any form of introduction), Mandagi was quite the sport, leaving the stage to greet the crowd twice as money shots were taken and dreams were lived aloud. Yes, the crowd was there for Sweet Disposition, but like the band, we've also moved on to something better from Thick As Thieves.

The Temper Trap performed on 10 March at The Coliseum, Hard Rock Hotel Resorts World Sentosa thanks to Live Nation Lushington.

Adibah Isa

  • Image: Live Nation Lushington

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