About a week ago, the Temper Trap posted this on its Twitter feed:
“NYC Fans, RT to enter to win tickets to The Temper Trap performing ‘Live on Letterman’ on June 6.”
Now, I am not a frequent user of Twitter–I mean I can tweet, but that’s about it. So after figuring out what an “RT” is and how to do it, then feeling RT self-conscious and canceling it, I finally went through with it (15 minutes later) and tweeted that damn message. Sure enough, the Twitter gods rewarded my act, and I managed to snag a pair of passes to the taping. I will never forget that my very first “direct message” was from the Temper Trap. #Awesome.
After hauling ass all the way down West 57th Street to the CBS offices to pick up said tickets, it was on to the Ed Sullivan Theater, where the Late Show With David Letterman tapes. Unfortunately, it was not a real show taping (or fortunately for me since Letterman creeps me out) but just a segment called “Live On Letterman,” where bands come into the studio and play a 45-minute set that broadcasts live on the CBS website. The segment will also air on tonight’s TV broadcast of Letterman during the musical guest portion of the show.
The space itself is so much smaller than I had ever expected it to be, but it looked just about the same as on television. The New York City backdrop sparkled with twinkling lights, and “Applause” signs flashed as the band walked on the stage. Cameras loomed around every corner, sometimes standing with their lenses right in people’s faces to get some of those all-important cut-away crowd shots.
The Temper Trap played mostly songs from its new, self-titled album, with a few oldies thrown in (“Love Lost,” “Drum Song” and of course, “Sweet Disposition”); it was a well crafted, well performed set. These guys are consummate professionals who have been touring with this album for months, so I would expect nothing less. The weird part about being in a studio/filming environment is that the interaction between the crowd and the band was minimal. I’m not sure if they were told not to talk between songs, but it was certainly one of the more distant performances I’ve seen from them. And there was no chance of an encore. They basically stopped playing, nodded, bowed and walked off set.
I’m not sure this is my favorite way to experience live music, with the cameras and the lack of dialogue and all, but it was certainly something to experience. So, watch Letterman tonight (or the webcast on CBS.com), and if you see an over-excited ginger girl in a gray cardigan, that’s me.