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Trapt against a wall.

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Trapt takes on Santa Cruz with Die Trying and InBALANCE

By Sarah Quelland

LAST THURSDAY (Oct. 2), the Catalyst was crowded with groups of available-looking young women and affectionate couples, all of whom turned out to catch InBALANCE, Die Trying and Trapt at a sold-out show presented by radio station Santa Cruz X-FM (103.9). Even partially filled, the Catalyst can get mighty muggy inside, and by the end of the concert the air hung thick with sweaty heat.

Sacramento's Die Trying went off like firecrackers and worked the crowd like absolute pros. "Let's have a fuckin' rock show," frontman Jassen Jensen told the crowd early on. This flashy band's collective energy, showmanship and fun attitude made it a big hit with the audience as it performed songs from its self-titled El Tonal/Island Records debut with guts and gusto.

Los Gatos' Trapt--which blew up with "Headstrong," the first single off its 2002 self-titled Warner Bros. debut--headlined the night. Though the band didn't perform any new material, it did play every single song off its debut.

Kicking off with "Still Frame," Trapt's set was off to an auspicious start until midway through second song "New Beginning," when the PA went down for about 10 minutes. It's times like these that fans get to see a different side of a band's personality, and Trapt handled the inconvenience well.

After mingling with the people at the front of the stage, leader Chris Brown silenced the noisy house and explained the situation. Then he calmly sat down at the front of the stage with a bottle of water and started talking to the crowd, even soliciting shirts from willing females in the audience. "Omigod, that's awesome!" he exclaimed spotting a girl up on someone's shoulders wearing a red bra arena-rock style, before politely making sure she got the shirt she'd tossed onstage returned.

With the PA working again, the band picked up where it left off with "Made of Glass" and "The Game." It took those two numbers for the group to get back in the zone, but by the time they reached "These Walls," the guys seemed fully comfortable again. Brown rallied the crowd, saying, "Let's be who we want and let's do what we want," before starting the song.

With his body language and facial expressions, Brown comes across as an emotional person. Escape and emptiness are recurring themes in his lyrics, but he also advocates believing in yourself and taking charge of your own destiny. "Headstrong" has become an anthem, not just for the band but also for sports fans and, apparently, lots of people at the Catalyst show. The band ended the night with the song that broke it onto the radio and the charts, and the audience sang along with every word.

HOT TOPIC: In town for the Kiss/Aerosmith/Saliva show at Shoreline Amphitheatre on Oct. 10, Kiss bassist and God of Thunder Gene Simmons autographs copies of his new book, Sex Money Kiss this Saturday (Oct. 11) at the Booksmith on Haight Street in San Francisco. ... Sessions presents the fifth annual Tim Brauch Memorial Skateboard Contest on Oct. 11 at the Van's Skate Park in Milpitas. Visit www.timbrauch.com for entry information and more. The Blank Club hosts the private afterparty with Black Flag's Greg Ginn, Mike V & the Rats and Clay Wheels. Passes will be available at the contest. That same day (Oct. 11), the youth-oriented Skate-a-Lot #4 takes place noon-6pm in the Balbach Street parking lot behind the San Jose Convention Center with halfpipes, quarterpipes, grind boxes, fun boxes, jumps, ramps and rails plus live bands, DJs and an open mic.

PLAN AHEAD: The English Dogs, Oct. 9 at the Blank Club; Logan Whitehurst and the Jr. Science Club, Oct. 9 at the Outhouse in Los Gatos; Plans for Revenge, Oct. 9 at Gaslighter's Music Hall in Gilroy; Under a Dying Sun, Oct. 10 at the Outhouse; Strata, Divided and Superchannel, Oct. 10 at the Blank Club; Osmium, Oct. 11 at Gaslighter's Music Hall; the Dwarves, Oct. 12 at the Blank Club; Habanero, Oct. 12 at the Gaslighter Theater in Campbell; Alien Love Syndrome, Splyt, SECURITY, Karate High School and Borderwars, Oct. 14 at Mountain Charley's in Los Gatos; TV Smith and Dr. Frank, Oct. 14 at the Blank Club.


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From the October 9-15, 2003 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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