Nov 13, 2009

Blitzen Trapper @ Metro Theatre

Beard City! Bliss City! To be sure, Thursday night at the Metro Theatre was a joyous concoction of melodies and good times. Blitzen Trapper were playing Sydney for the first time and they must come again. Melodies flowed like honey and tasted just as sweet. The venue was not close to being sold out, which was a pity because those that were not there missed a night of harmony and balance. A night that celebrated the power of song.

Blitzen Trapper I think were made just for me. They encompass everything I love in a band. Music with passion, soul and meaning. Lyrics that landscape the American experience. A unique blend of folk, country and rock with dry and esoteric lyrics. Plus there is a good and gentle humour to their songs. It is good for the heart and the soul. Plus the feet get a good workout. I think they played nearly every song off their wonderful 2008 album in "Furr". No complaints here for that is a wonderful slab of sound, although I would have loved to hear a few more cuts from "Wild Mountain Nation" for good measure. For starters they opened the night with "Sleepytime in the Western World", with the song's gentle melody bringing a smile to everyone in attendance. Following with "God & Suicide" was appreciated also as it amply displayed the appeal of Eric Earley's voice. His vocal is a little worn and gravelly, but oh so human and soothing. I could listen to him sing forever. Marty Marquis is also handy on the vocals, supplying great harmonies for most of the night including lead on a new song called "Canyon's Edge". The night was ramped up a bit halfway through with a storming rendition of "Gold For Bread", which nicely segued into "Jericho", surely one of the great B-Sides of our time. No time to catch breath as "Love U" pulverised us with Earley really belting this one out. "Furr" was also a highlight and definitely a real crowd pleaser, with many happy people singing along with gusto. We then encountered a slight hiccup as the band stopepd for technical difficulties. I am not sure what the problem was but Earley, Marquis and drummer Brian Koch improvised and gave us a couple of sparse and tender songs in the country standard "The Last Thing On My Mind" and "Not Your Lover". I think the band handled the situation really well and barely slowed the momentum of the night. "Black River Killer" was played back in full band mode and its glorious qualities were evident for all as the band pushed onto an exciting finish. "Fire & Fast Bullets" was pulsating excitement, whilst closer "Devil's A-Go-Go" was frenetic and supercharged with some members of support act Leader Cheetah joining the boys on stage. The encore was the perfect nightcap with personal favourite "Country Caravan" being an apt and desirable closer. 'Twas a great night all round. The band were multi talented, swapping instruments through out and their intoxicating blend of guitars and keyboards proved a big winner. Come again soon please. I know someone very special that wants to see you. Sing me home boys. Sing me home.

Set List
Sleepytime in the Western World
God & Suicide
Stolen Shoes & A Rifle
Wild Mountain Nation
Canyon's Edge
Gold for Bread
Love U
Silver Moon
The Last Thing On My Mind (Tom Paxton cover)
Not Your Lover
Black River Killer
Lady On The Water
Going Down
Fire & Fast Bullets
Big Black Bird
Devil's A-Go-Go

After The Gold Rush (Neil Young cover)
Saturday Nite
Country Caravan


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