Like a talent sandwich of sorts, Papertrigger was the filling center of an otherwise “meh” line-up consisting of the Diggs (unremarkable standard indie pop fare with stalkeresquely creepy lyrics) and Most Serene Republic (who started off strong but blended into repetition far too quickly).
The relatively young Philly band (both in terms of the band’s age and the members’) spiced up a late-late show, held back due to unfavorable weather. Playing the songs from their recently released Riot Lovers EP, as well as new material, their loud, full, diversely epic sound filled the room as though they were playing a show at the biggest venue in town.
Papertrigger: “We Are Nations Now” (download)
Instruments on stage ran from the standards to the abnormal, including acoustic and electric guitars, upright bass, electric bass, bells, cymbals, keyboard, saxophone and a round tube of metal that they beat up with drumsticks during the last number. Trying to describe it at one point during the show, my notes read: “loungey, exotica, classic rock, jazz, everything, hah!” Even their clothes were diverse – one man wore a button up shirt and vest, another flannel, one in jeans and a baggy sweatshirt.
Papertrigger’s live performance is exactly what one would hope for after listening to the studio versions of the songs. Each member reacts physically to each note they play, enhancing the primal, animalistic qualities of the music.
Papertrigger: “The Inner Party” (download)
Yet the lyrics concern everyday pains and responses, captured most acutely in “The Inner Party,” where singer Chris Manglos bemoans the mental state of many a 20-something, “I’m overqualified / I’m too good for this job,” and later, “this is not where I’m supposed to be.” If they roll through your town, then that’s where you’re supposed to be, witnessing this sure to blossom group.
Images courtesy of flickr user lori baily