Blitzen Trapper Destroys the Void at the High Noon

Blitzen Trapper, the Portland-based experimental indie folk rockers, returned to the High Noon Saloon with Pearly Gate Music. Building on a sixties/seventies vibe, Blitzen Trapper has successfully carved out a unique sound over several albums that transcends their classic rock influences.

Lead guitarist/vocalist Eric Earley’s intricate lyrics explore the dark psychological side of human nature through songs like “Black River Killer” and “The Man Who Would Speak True.” Both of these songs touch on themes surrounding murder and serial killers in a soft acoustic ambiance that drives the message home. Other material is more uplifting with rock-fused rhythms and complex harmonies.

Eric Earley of Blitzen Trapper

Blitzen Trapper

Earley had some issues with the monitor sound early in the set , but he seemed to have ironed them out after a couple of songs. You almost expected that with the number of instruments on stage and the intricate harmony arrangements in Blitzen Trappers’ repertoire. Working in new material like the acoustic chestnut “Taking it Easy for too Long”, the band's set leaned heavily on the latest release “Destroyer of the Void.” Some of our favorites like “Sadie”, ”Love & Hate”, along with “Heaven and Earth” took on new life in a live setting, feeding the crowd’s passion as they sang along with the band. The musicianship displayed by the six piece group was astounding, delivering a full stage sound that was impressive. When can we see them again?

Blitzen Trapper had just finished a week touring Canada and joked that they were happy to be back in the United States. Drummer Brian Koch and guitarist Marty Marquis, besides providing excellent background vocals, have a laid back humorous back and forth stage banter that eliminates any awkward silence between songs.

Marquis commented on the similarities between Wisconsin and their home state of Oregon, “You like good beer, cheese and even have a Black River here,” he said, “Is the weather always this nice?” as someone yelled out to come back in December.

During the encore drummer Brian Koch passed out an small cassette player to the audience (see video) asking them to add comments/thoughts to the analog tape as an experiment in crowd participation. We contributed to the analog dialog, “We don’t drink shitty beer in Wisconsin.” Amen!

Seattle’s Pearly Gate Music opened the show with an acoustic set of quirky indie folk tunes including an interesting cover of the Kinks’ “Lola.” 

© 2023 Rock of the Arts