Blitzen Trapper – Live at The Prince of Wales: Gig Reviews
A hairy road-trip through the woods of the US of A. On a relaxed Tuesday night a dedicated audience descended upon the Prince band room to experience the delectable country folk of Portland’s Blitzen Trapper.
This was a bold move – playing at such a venue – for this highly regarded, yet under-exposed band. Their last trip down to the real south took-in a cosier venue, yeilding a congruence between band and audience that would be the envy of any artist.
Singer and guitarist Eric Earley and his men at the beginning looked out of sorts, maybe a little tired – weary of a crowd not intoxicated by moonshine, perhaps? Eventually they warmed crowd – strangely enough, it took a bird call-like applause and confused guitarist to bring about this reconcilliation.
Musically, it was a solid performance; their deeply entrenched Americana drawl peeking through on songs like set-opener Might Find It Cheap and their ode to a bogan of the Midwest ‘drinking whisky through his teeth’ in Fletcher. Their unconventional chord structures find themselves in familiar and accessible rock tunes, at times leaving one confused as to whether they should ponder such lyrical wonder or simply rock out. I can’t be the only one confused, surely?
But it wasn’t all ear-busting rock ‘n’ roll, with God & Suicide taking things down a notch or two, oddly enough with its happy-go-lucky charm. Crowd favourite Furr prompted fringe-dwellers to surge forward. Similarly, Lady In The Water garnered a sizable amount approval-driven hooting.
To cap off the this chilly Tuesday evening, the lads made their way back on stage – I wonder what they talk about backstage for that 45 seconds? – and capped the night off in much the same way they began it; rock. And what more comprehensives way to do so than with a cover of Led Zeppelin’s Good Times Bad Times. Such was the quality of this cover that a long and prosperous career as tribute act would almost be an attractive offer you would have to think.
Anyhew, okay crowd at a good venue with a great band playing wonderful songs.