This Blitzen Trapper article was written by Jen Taylor, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Macon Oxley.
Monday night saw Americana taking over The Lexington, with Portland, Oregon-based rockers Blitzen Trapper selling out the intimate Islington venue. Their audience were surprisingly rowdy for a Monday night crowd but all very excited about having Blitzen Trapper take to the stage. Fitting in with their genre, their sound is very American, dripping with essence of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young.
Starting with ‘Rock and Roll (Was Made for You)’, the quiet opening made for a raw beginning to the set, with the song progressing into a very impressive guitar solo at the end. Following up in second was ‘Nights Were Made for Love’ – another track from their latest album, ‘All Across this Land’. This song had some nice synth featured in it, but it was difficult to hear these intricacies over the rest of the mix.
The rowdy crowd made sure they were noticed which did not mix so well with quieter songs, such as the intimate love song, ‘Love Grow Cold’, as people shouted their conversations over the top of the singing, leaving the devout fans angrily telling those being loud to hush.
‘Wild Mountain Nation’ was a highlight of the set, and at track number eight of the night, it was the first time the whole crowd properly engaged with the music. It sounded like more of a typecast country song than the recorded version, but it moved along pleasingly and gave energy to the audience who were then very pleased when the next song of the set was ‘Black River Killer’. This time the synth worked well, and with the crowd being in a particularly chipper mood after the previous song, everyone sung happily along with gusto.
Blitzen Trapper seem to have come a long way from their wonderfully quirky debut album, ‘Wild Mountain Nation’, and although their songs are catchy and still have some interesting aspects, these days they sound more like a run-of-the-mill country rock band. But this doesn’t dissuade their adoring fans who sang their hearts out and stomped and clapped their way through the set. In fact, the evolution of their sound is likely to be the reason behind the varied age and demographic of their audience.
As a nod to one of their obvious influences, they decided to throw in a cover of Neil Young’s ‘Old Man’ – an obvious sing-along. The crowd joined in on all the parts they knew and added enthusiastic hand claps and feet stamps through the song.
The title track of their latest album, the rock ‘n’ roll number ‘All Across This Land’, ended the set. However, with emphatic requests from the audience for an encore, they returned for another three tracks. The night finished with the fun track, ‘Fire & Fast Bullets’ – its interesting melody and huge finish building to an explosive end to the set.