Just last night, Portland band Blitzen Trapper played an acoustic show at the Portland Playhouse in front of about 150 people.

The audience was silent. The air was still. Vocal harmonies filled the room and sent chills across my skin.

It was a different vibe than the past times I’ve seen the band. Those guys are known for their ability to rock out with their electric guitars, multiple keyboards and full drum set.
Several of their tunes feature funky little sound effects or animal noises. That stuff can be fun…it’s electronic magic. So I wasn’t quite sure what was going to happen when all that sound got stripped away.


I know quiet little sets happen in coffee shops around the world every night. I also know MTV made going unplugged seem trite.

But when you whittle it all away, and all you have left is songwriting and voices, real magic can happen. And I think that’s what we saw last night.


all content © Tim LaBarge 2010

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