Acoustic shows are some of my favorite sets, because it allows you to feel the music in this different part of your soul. Call me crazy, but I get more emotionally involved in acoustic versions of songs than I do the electric. Acoustic sets bring about this homey feeling, allowing you to tap into those feel good moments that remind you of why you liked the songs to begin with. So imagine my delight when Trapt announced an all-acoustic tour with Smile Empty Soul and Toy Called God and Sioux Falls was on the list. I never booked credentials for a show so quick in my life.
BIGS Bar in Sioux Falls isn’t what you would call much of a venue. As hard as they try to bring in bands from all over, sometimes we just don’t have the market here for it. A+ for Effort. However, for this show there was double the turn out that is normally in attendance and I was crazy pleased.
First up, we had Toy Called God . I need to take a long moment here to explain to you how impressed I was by this group. Hailing from San Francisco, CA (Go Niners!) this band brings the soul back to rock music. Lead singer, Marcus Lance, has a blues-esque growl punctuated by soaring vocals that make you want to praise the music Gods for that good of a voice. I might be a little ignorant, but I had never once seen an acoustic bass before. Damian “Slim” Lewin was no stranger to its wiles, mastering it with strict precision in perfect synchrony with their wet-behind-the-ears, badass drummer, Jacob Baptista. Patrick “PD” Donovan, guitarist, wove his tunes with intricacy into the effects of the rest, blending together a beautiful maelstrom of true rock. It was a smooth sailing show with songs like “Only One Menace”, “Numb in a Bottle” and “False Prophet”. One of my favorites was “420” and that doesn’t leave much guessing room what inspired this particular song. I would highly suggest requesting them on your local radios and annoy your local promoters to bring them to your city. Not only were they fantastic on stage, they are genuine and humble off stage. Graciously meeting fans, engaging in full conversations with patience and interest, Toy Called God will always be a band I can say is one of my top favorites.
Moving along at a quick clip, Smile Empty Soul took the stage. Not ones to ever disappoint, they brought their A-Game as hard as Toy Called God did. No drummer accompanied their set, but they prevailed regardless. Setting up the crowd with songs like “False Alarm” and “Skin”, Smile Empty Soul targeted their crowd with ease and effortless transitions. “Bottom of a Bottle” was surprising to hear acoustically, just as powerful as it is electric. My favorite of their set though was “What a Wonderful World” done in the most metal acoustic way possible. It quickly became my new favorite version of that song.
Trapt stole the show instantly, bringing out just Chris Brown (singer/guitarist) and Brendan Hengle (drummer) to the stage. Chris Brown sings with passion and effort in all of his songs, his love for his music clearly showing on his face while he sings. Not only is it memorizing to watch, his voice is possibly the smoothest in the industry. Pair him with an acoustic guitar and Brendan’s focused beats, you have a show that you don’t want to end. Kicking it off with “Ready When You Are”, they grasped the crowd in their clutches and shook them up for a killer show. Following was “Stories” and “Contagious”, hitting us with all of our top favorites. Trapt did a fantastic acoustic version of “Headstrong”, the crowd singing along and cheering as if it were the electric version they were hearing.
While this tour is now currently over, be sure to check out each individual band and catch them around. There’s no way you’d want to miss any of their shows. Check out the pictures we captured of their Sioux Falls set and we’ll catch you at the next one.