TRAPT 20th Anniversary “Self-Titled” Tour – Herman’s Hideaway, January 10, 2023

Trapt - Herman's Hideaway

On November 5, 2022, Los Gatos, CA alt metal/hard rock band Trapt released their debut, self-titled album on the Warner Records label.  The album did exceptionally well, spawning three singles, and reaching Platinum certification by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America).  One of those singles, “Headstrong” landed in the top five on multiple US genre charts.  It’s far and away the most commercially successful album and song released by the band over their two-decade plus career.

Given all that, it comes as no surprise that the Trapt album would, two decades later, become the centerpiece for a national tour.  The “Self-Titled Tour”, which kicked off it’s initial 2023 leg on January 6, made its way to Herman’s Hideaway in Denver this past Tuesday night.  (The show was originally booked for The Venue in Denver, but was moved to Herman’s when The Venue unfortunately closed its doors last November.)

In the press release for the “Self-Titled Tour” the band stated they would be playing the Trapt album front to back.  That they did, although they changed up the song sequence, and eliminated the long, dreamy instrumental outro that made up half of the song “New Beginning”.  Other than that, they delivered on their promise, to the delight of the rapt crowd of Trapt devotees.

Chris Taylor Brown

As a band, Trapt has historically been two people – original members Chris Taylor Brown (lead vocals and guitars) and Pete Charell (bass).  Over the years, and through the band’s eight studio albums, there has been a revolving door of drummers and lead guitarists.  The current incarnation of the band includes former Black ‘N Blue lead guitarist Shawn Sonnenschein, and veteran metal drummer Mitch Moore.  Give credit to newer members Sonnenschein and Moore – they were in perfect lockstep with veterans Brown and Charell on every song, all set long.

Shawn Sonnenschein

Taking the stage at 9:40 pm, the band opened with one of the Trapt album’s three singles, “Still Frame”.  Over the course of the next hour and twenty minutes, the band played the full Trapt album, plus four additional tracks from various stages of their career.  Those four songs were “Stand Up”, from 2005’s Someone In Control album; “Black Rose”, from Only Through the Pain (2008); “Fire”, from Shadow Work (2020, and the band’s most recent release); and “Who’s Going Home With You Tonight?”, also from Only Through the Pain(These last songs were not played as an encore.)

From my perspective, the highlight of the evening was the two-song finale of the Trapt album set… “Hollowman”, followed by “Headstrong”. We already touched on the blazing success of “Headstrong”, but for my money the strongest tune on the Trapt album has always been “Hollowman”.  Whichever way you rank them, they are both flat out rockers with tight hooks and catchy riffs… the perfect way to wrap up a set.  Brown, who is incredibly animated on stage to begin with, kicked into another gear with these back to back songs.  “Headstrong” was the opening track on the album, and “Hollowman” was track three. Moving them to the last two songs of that part of the set was a powerful move.

(left to right) Shawn Sonnenschein, Chris Taylor Brown

Major kudos go out to the crowd, who were in a party mood from the time they came through the doors, through the end of the evening.  It was a Tuesday night, for Pete’s sake… it might not have been a surprise to get a small, more sedate crowd.  But not this group.  Pretty much everyone there knew the words to every song played, and they weren’t even remotely shy about dancing and singing along.  At one point front man Brown commented on how much it meant to him to look out at the crowd and see everyone shouting out the words to even the “deep cuts” from this twenty-year-old album.  To everyone who was at the show – job exceedingly well done!

Opening support for the night was provided by local hard rock band Something For Tomorrow, who presented an inspired set of original tunes that warmed the near capacity crowd up nicely.  Look for a future feature on Something For Tomorrow as part of the Local Talent Spotlight series on Denver Entertainment Hub. (Special shout out to lead singer/guitarist Jason Lycan for letting me into the venue, and out of the chilly night air, well before the doors opened to the public.)

Photos and story by Rick Witt,