Crocodiles Blow their Temper; Temper Trap Reclaims the Evening
by Scott Wood
For those of you who don’t know, Malkin Bowl is a park venue located in Stanley Park—which is a large and beautiful park directly west of Vancouver’s downtown core. I had never seen a show there before, so I jumped at the chance to catch Temper Trap there on the cool summer evening of June 20. The weather was perfect for a chilled out summer night.
Opening act Crocodiles are a low-fi indie pop band from San Diego. People relaxed on the grass soaking up the sun and the majesty of the trees (that surround the venue) as the Crocs thrashed through their set. The energy of the crowd worked against their aggressive music, but nothing was going to wreck the Croc’s swagger. While introducing his last song, the Croc’s lead shocked everyone by blowing up.
He went on a long rant which started with, “Who here hates their boss?” and included stuff like, “I’m starving. Our boss won’t pay us out food buyout. He doesn’t think we deserve $10 for food. I hope he dies of a heart attack. We certainly will cuz we can’t afford food!”
It was the last date of the tour for the Crocs and apparently they wanted to go out on a bang. The leader singer’s diatribe worked. He got many of the just-arriving Temper Trap fans as well as the rest of the crowd to get off the summer park lawn to enjoy the band’s final sonic assault.
After a beer and snack break, Temper Trap took the stage with “London Burning”—their track about the London Riots. (Australian band, TT now lives in the same neighbourhood where the riots occurred and were there when they happened). It was unclear if the band opened their set with their most controversial song because of the Croc’s blow out or simply because their jangly political track stands out from the TT’s typically smooth uncomplicated music.
Temper Trap play indie rock in the vein of Radiohead, Muse and The Doves. After “London Burning,” most of the crowd stood as the band made the mostly attractive white hipster couples sway. TT easily satisfied their attractive fanbase, but I don’t think they have maximized TT lead singer’s ex-choir boy vocal range or the band’s “just this side of dance” rock sound. I am looking forward to where the next record could take them.
This concert was a strange beast. The Crocs went on at 7:30pm, so Temper Trap was done by 10pm. I have never left a concert so early in my life. Since it was a weekday, my boss will be thanking them for allowing me to get that much more sleep. It was pleasant to leave the concert and enjoy the last vestiges of the evening as I walked from the park back into Vancouver’s west end.
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