This one was a bit of a coup for Boston: a one-off headlining date for Blitzen Trapper before the beloved Portland, Ore. indie rockers hook up with Guided By Voices for a trio of Northeast dates and head overseas to wrap up their touring for the year.
The show at the Paradise – where the band plays again tonight with GBV – felt like anything but a one-off. An enthusiastic crowd filled the room as the night progressed, and the band was loose in demeanor yet crazy tight musically, churning out a generous set focused largely around its three most recent Sub Pop releases: this year’s Destroyer of the Void, last summer’s Black River Killer EP and the 2008 front-to-back masterpiece Furr.
Things got off to a swift start with a triple-guitar assault on “Fire & Fast Bullets” and quickly moved to “Laughing Lover” before the group dug a little deeper with the title track from 2007’s Wild Mountain Nation. Blitzen Trapper’s 75-minute set weaved effortlessly from crunching riffs to gentler ballads and proggy classic rock rave-ups, all grounded in gorgeous vocal harmonies. A heavy jam was added to the end of the concise rocker “Love and Hate,” the crowd ate up “Black River Killer” and the band got its self-described melodica on for “Lady On the Water.” Later, a new track, “Takin’ it Easy Too Long” was slipped in amidst favorites like “Furr” and “Sleepytime in the Western World.” In the encore, Eric Earley ceded lead vocal duties to Marty Marquis for the deep track “Jericho” before closing things out with a rousing “Big Black Bird.”
Blitzen Trapper’s Setlist:
Fire & Fast Bullets / Laughing Lover / Wild Mountain Nation / God & Suicide / Love and Hate / Destroyer of the Void / Evening Star / Lady On the Water / Black River Killer / The Man Who Would Speak True / Takin’ it Easy Too Long / Silver Moon / Below the Hurricane / Furr / Sadie / Sleepytime in the Western World // Not Your Lover / Jericho / Big Black Bird
A recording of Blitzen Trapper’s set is already circulating. Check it out on etree.
Boston’s own Faces on Film opened the show with a fine set of songs from its just-released gem of an album, Some Weather. Check out that album in its entirety in a recent FiTi Foraging feature.
Faces on Film: