The Hippo


Oct 16, 2019








Chris Trapper. Courtesy photo.

Chris Trapper with Chris Peters

When: Friday, Sept. 12, at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Capitol Center for the Arts, 44 S. Main St., Concord 
Tickets: $15 at

Up close and personable
Capitol Center hosts singer/songwriters

By Michael Witthaus

In addition to being well-suited to up-and-coming artists who can’t fill the Capitol Center for the Arts’ main hall, the Concord facility’s nightclub themed Spotlight Café is ideal for an intimate performance. An upcoming double bill with singer/songwriters Chris Trapper and Chris Peters perfectly suits the space.
Spend an evening with Trapper and you’ll leave feeling like you know him. He’s a musical diarist who treats songwriting as therapy. 
“It’s an outlet for emotional overload,” the Boston performer explained in a recent phone interview. “If I’m happy, sad, depressed, I reach for a guitar.” 
From an early age, Trapper felt encouraged to pursue music. His mother was his “number one fan,” and the two spoke after almost every show he played. Trapper offered a wry explanation for his family’s countenance. 
“One thing that was nice about having parents that were hard drinkers is they lived life for music and joy versus practicality,” he said. As the youngest of six kids, “I think they were kind of bored with parenting by the time I was growing up, so I had freedom to do whatever I chose.” 
Trapper wrote many of the songs on his latest album, Technicolor, in response to his mother’s death a couple of years ago. 
“Not necessarily about her,” he said, “but … where I was emotionally; thinking about loss, taking inventory of where I’m at, how lucky I am to have a great job and family, thoughts of my own mortality.”
His studio efforts are lush, layered, and often studded with top talent like Rob Thomas and Colin Hay. Ace guitarist Duke Levine contributed to the new album; a moving experience, said Trapper. 
“Duke was playing and I literally started to tear up sitting in the studio. I know that in my lifetime, I’ll only sit in the presence of greatness a limited number of times, and that is what I had that day.”
But he truly relishes the solo spotlight; that’s partly why Trapper left popular band The Push Stars in the late ‘90s. “Doing rock and roll was really about being big — big stage production, big sound, big crew,” he said. “My goal now is the opposite: to be an honest as I can, and have a shared experience with the audience.”
Concord native Peters pitched the idea of a Capitol Center show to Trapper early last spring. “I’ve been following Chris the last few years and noticed that he was playing some really small rooms. I just thought that was so humble and so cool,” Peters said recently. “Here’s this guy who has been on a major label, toured nationally with some big name bands, and had his music in all kinds of TV and film, [but] it’s not beneath him to play Blue in Portland, or that weird place in Manchester.”
He called Trapper’s solo work inspirational. 
“He helped me to realize that, yes, I can do this too. He’s given me much to aspire to, and I’m psyched to have the opportunity to share the same stage,” Peters said.
Peters’ opening set will include songs from a follow-up to his 2011 album Passing Lane he’s recording at Rocking Horse Studio. 
“It’s a collection of tunes focused on time, the soul-saving qualities of the outdoors and growing up,” he said.
Peters plans to debut “The Switch,” an upbeat rock number inspired by a conversation he had with Trapper last May at Portsmouth’s Music Hall Loft. 
“He said he’s had to play a lot of [expletive] holes over the years, but he has a switch in his mind that let’s him tune out the negative,” said Peters. “It’s a great universal theme.” 

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