Since shooting to fame after their song “Sweet Disposition” was featured in the 2009 romantic comedy (500) Days of Summer, Australian indie band The Temper Trap has been playing to crowds of thousands.

On May 16, fans got to experience an intimate session with the rockers when they came to Singapore for their recording on the sixth installment of MTV Sessions.

Having just flown in from Indonesia where they performed for the Big Sound Festival, the band members looked slightly lethargic, but were completely energized the moment they started playing. Described by Billboard as a band with a ‘refreshing sound’, the 5-man band opened with “Need Your Love”, the lead single off their self-titled album released in 2012.

Stripped of all the fancy details such as the heavy drumming, the laid-back acoustic rendition of “Need Your Love” allowed for the 300 strong audience to fully take in lead singer, Dougy Mandagi’s versatile vocals (just look at how he’s able to change vocal keys instantly!) as it flowed out like liquid gold.  With eyes closed, Mandagi was in the zone as he slowly warmed the crowd up for the next song, “Everybody Leaves In The End”.

Now, what would The Temper Trap set list be without its most renowned track, “Sweet Disposition”? Fortunately for fans, the band played it; and better than expected. It has to be said that Mandagi has an amazing stage presence. After all, this is a falsetto-driven track, and one could feel the vocalist’s pure concentration as he gave his all to the song. He managed to transport us to a completely different world. Needless to say, it was the song that drew the most reaction from the crowd, making them sing along as they pushed their way to take pictures (even though they weren’t allowed to) as the song reached its climax.

Throughout the show, one could see the chemistry between the band members. From the way Mandagi joked with keyboardist/guitarist Joseph Greer about his love for David Bowie, to how drummer Toby Dundas would occasionally smile and keep in tempo with his band members, it was obvious that the band members were completely comfortable with each other. Initially the band seemed rather indifferent and distant as they got on stage but by the second song, they started to warm up and were perfectly at ease.

Afterwards, things sped up a bit, as the band played “Science Of Fear” before ending their approximately one and a half hour set with the somber “Trembling Hands”. Mandagi gyrated his hips during a break in the song, making some members of the audience giggle with excitement. It was that moment that fans felt a closer connection to the band. Almost everyone was swaying as they sang along to the addictive chorus (I’m on my own// I’m on my own). It also helped that the screens behind the band had graphics of a rainy cityscape that gave the audience a fitting visual accompaniment.

As the song came to an end, the crowd started a chant of “Encore, encore!” and without much hesitation, the band gave into their demands and played “Sweet Disposition” and “Trembling Hands” once more.

Undoubtedly a refreshing departure from the large-scale shows that The Temper Trap usually mounts, it led guitarist Lorenzo Sillitto to comment that he enjoys doing intimate shows like this. As the crowd proceeded to exit the studio, an audience member remarked, “I hope they come back again.”

MTV Sessions: The Temper Trap premieres on MTV SEA, Saturday, 1 June at 11.30am (WIB), 12.30pm (SG/HK/PH) and 1.30pm (MAL)

Photos courtesy of  MTV Asia/Aloysius Lim