Blitzen Trapper play First Avenue

(photo courtesy of mashmal via Flickr)

Originally scheduled to play the Cedar, Blitzen Trapper instead performed at the First Avenue Mainroom. Though you could tell the audience was rooting for the band, the show was not without its problems.

This Wednesday night performance marked the kick-off of the Oregon-based band's U.S. tour, and lead vocalist Eric Earley certainly had a wide-eyed nervousness about him as he took the stage and made banter.

Overall, the show was surprisingly low energy. Their strength is in their more mellow, folksy tunes, and they did truly shine on popular hits "Furr," "God and Suicide," "And Not Your Lover." Their latest effort, Furr as an eclectic feel that doesn't necessarily work on stage. Flashier, Of Montreal-esque tunes like "Saturday Nite" and "Sleepy Time in the Western World" felt a little awkward; as if the band were embarrassed to be playing them, or they were just too jet-lagged to make them sparkle.

Midway through the concert, the rest of the band took a break while Earley remained onstage for an acoustic set. It was the sort of moment that would have shined at the Cedar, but at First Ave. the chattering of voices was often as loud as the music. At one point a fan shouted, "Be quiet, you're being inconsiderate!" It did not help the situation. "It's First Ave!" Someone shouted back.   

Overall, Blitzen Trapper has potential to put on a great show. Given the right venue. The low-energy performance might also have been due to nerves, volume problems, and really, though they've released four albums since forming, they're still pretty new to the scene. This particular show just wasn't as fully realized as it could have been.