I decided to have one day of radio silence, after blogging for 30 days straight. Today, I’m back in full throttle. Last night, I went to see Blitzen Trapper live in concert at the Melkweg in Amsterdam. Here is my review.
Blitzen Trapper is a 6 man experimental indie folk rock band from Portland, Oregon in the US. Experimental in that they fuse all different styles of rock music, from the 60s till the 80s to create their sound. There is definitely a folk vibe to the majority of their songs, but there are also hints of blues, country and even a little bit of pop to be found. The rock vibe, however, is the strongest and yours truly did not know that until I saw them live last night.
I only knew their last album, Destroyer of the Void, and one single from an EP, called Black River Killer. Little did I know, that these guys, apart from that CD and EP have already released 4 other albums, which I didn’t know. The last album is very folky in nature, but is a trip through music history at the same time. So when the band started with a full blow rock song as the opener of the concert I was rather surprised.
They kept up the rock vibe for the first part of the show. Lots of uptempo and midtempo songs that definitely got the heads of the sold out crowd nodding. Halfway through, they decided to slow it down a bit, and played some slower songs, with the epitome being the lead singer left alone on stage with nothing but his guitar and mouth organ to accompany him. You could hear a pin drop!
After the lead singer’s solo stint, he was joined by one of the guys in the band, and they sang one song together. After that the rest of the band joined them and the show was picked right back up and by the end of the show they were properly rocking out. I could only think of how much fun these guys must be having while jamming, because they had a great energy about them on the stage. They are genuinely having fun at what they do.
The set they played after the slower part in the show, mainly consisted of songs from their latest record. They did a couple of them back to back. I’m terrible at remembering names & orders of songs and unfortunately I can’t find a setlist online. The encore started with Lady in the Water, again a slow song, and ended after three songs with Saturday Nite. Actually, they only wanted to do 2 songs, but one of the guitar players started playing Saturday Nite and they just went with it.
All in all, Blitzen Trapper was everything I expected and more. They have a great presence and energy on stage and that really got the crowd going. Despite the concert being a bit of a surprise since I only knew one album, it was a great experience. The lead singer has a great voice live, they are all talented not only at their main role in the band, but also multitasking as the extra rhythm section. The only conclusion I can draw is that these guys are a very talented bunch and I hope they’ll stick around for a long time to come.
Official video of Black River Killer:
Lady in the Water
Heaven and Earth (my fave song on Destroyer of the Void)
Sleepy Time in the Western World