Blitzen Trapper Live @ San Francisco’s The Filmore

blitzentrapper1 Blitzen Trapper Live @ San Franciscos The Filmore

Blitzen Trapper, An all-American band playing at the quintessential American venue in the heart of San Francisco, what more could you ask for? Well, as a somewhat distant fan (I was amped to go but by no means planned on buying their t-shirt), I was surprised at how underwhelmed I was with their live show. With such great songs like Furr and Sleepy Time in the Western World, you expect them to have much more of a backwoods, Portland quality to them and their performance. Instead, frontman Eric Early, dominated the stage in a manner that screamed narcissist (trying desperately to be relevant among this young, indie folk rock scene is no easy task for this aging rock God).  Although there were flashes of brilliance throughout the performance, most of them being their most popular songs from their albums and a few cute cameos from the opening band, The Moondoggies, the overall gut feeling I left with was disappointment. Early never even introduced the band which appear to wholeheartedly back him and his singular musings on the stage (lights go down, rest of the band leaves so that Early can belt out some tunes solo on the piano…deep). The collective sound of this sextet is powerful and controlled and down right fun, but the Tom Petty comparisons are just too obvious as Early sucks down on the harmonica and belts out lyrics that could have been taken directly from any one of the Americana greats. No doubt, Black River Killer is a gem in a sea of ordinary and it proved to be true even in the live show. The band still has a great following and for the most part, true fans were totally digging the moment but for an epic show like The Filmore, it left a stale taste in my mouth wishing their was something more, something authentic…

By, Carissa Donges

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