Concerts Concerts Blitzen Trapper Takes Us Back To The Future

Blitzen Trapper Takes Us Back To The Future

Blitzen Trapper at The Opera House
Blitzen Trapper
Opera House in Toronto, On
August 3, 2010

Review by: Whitney Pineault
Photos by: Pete Nema

Fixed between two highly coveted festival dates at Osheaga and Lollapalooza, Portland, Oregon's Blitzen Trapper returned to Toronto on the heels of the release of their latest album, Destroyer Of The Void. Currently signed to legendary record label, Sub Pop, the band wooed fans with their unique multi-genre fused sound, dazzling harmonies, and praise for Canadian-made beer.

Blitzen Trapper

Receiving a warm welcome from the sizable crowd, the six-peace led with “Fire & Fast Bullets” from acclaimed album Furr. Having only heard Blitzen Trapper’s music on record, I was interested to see how it would translate live, but right away I could tell these guys were the real deal. “Laughing Lover” saw front man Eric Earley shine as his sharp vocals resonated neatly throughout the venue. Guitarist Marty Marquis, and drummer Brian Adrian Koch joined Earley to form a brilliant array of three part harmonies that would continue throughout the set. Musically, Blitzen Trapper are exceptionally talented and seem to have perfected the art of blending together folk and roots rock of the ‘60s with ‘70s country twang and a little modern synth. “God & Suicide”, though short in timing, proved to be a shining example of said fusion.

Marquis, it seemed, couldn't help but comment on our nation's beer selection. As he raised his tall boy to the crowd he declared, "Molson Canadian, the best this land has to offer." The audience responded with a mix of cheers and jeers but I still found it to be quite charming. He would later go on to insult our driving skills but I'm just going to leave that one alone. "Destroyer Of The Void", with its Queen-esq harmonies and blazing guitar solos played well with the audience as Earley's musical artistry became clear. He appears to be one of those musicians capable of mastering any instrument he lays his hands on. "The Tree" saw Early effortlessly switch from guitar to banjo which managed to get a few people dancing around the floor. He then returned to guitar and tacked on a harmonica for one of the night's standout tracks, "Silver Moon" from the Black River Killer EP.

Fans cheered in contentment for "Black River Killer", a dark murder ballad and noteworthy track from Furr. The band then gave Earley the stage while he took to the keyboard for the gorgeous "Heaven And Earth". It was comparably enthralling to watch Earley perform solo as with the full band. With folk musicians as parents and a grandfather who played harmonica in the early bluegrass circuit, the man seems destined to be an artist. "Lady On The Water" brought everyone back to the stage and got the crowd amped up for "Furr" which turned into a really fun sing-along that substantially loosened up the crowd. With their set drawing to a close, Blitzen Trapper kept the momentum going and ended on a high-note with "Sleepytime In The Western World", a track that many had clearly been looking forward to as the crowd happily danced and sang along to every word.

Gladly returning for an encore, the band performed a nearly flawless version of "Not Your Lover". Even though Earley's keyboard seemed to give out at the end, their polished harmonies more than made up for the tiny snag. Blitzen Trapper then took a request from the audience, which resulted in the hard-hitting, guitar heavy "Gold For Bread". Although the crowd on the floor seemed to have thinned out (why, is beyond me), those who remained showed nothing but praise for the band. Their talent and exceptionally tight performance made for a great night of trail blazing music.

Info: Blitzen Trapper
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Video: Furr

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