There is only one word to describe Thursday night’s show at Trees: mesmerizing. The venue known more for their metal/hard-rock musical acts showed they had a softer side with downtempo artist Tycho.
The Album Leaf, an ambient, electro-acoustic quartet took the stage as the opener. Each song had powerful build ups that turned into majestic, drum driven walls of Rhodes piano sound. Beginning as a solo project twelve plus years ago, their experience certainly showed as they hopped around picking up different instruments left and right. At one point the guitar player put down his guitar to surprisingly pick up a trumpet, adding depth to The Album Leaf’s thick, rich atmosphere. Even the violin, played by Matthew Resovich, pulled together their sound, making it unique and innovative. Playing two songs from their new EP, Forward/Return, they closed out their set, leaving you wanting more. The mood was set perfectly for a great night with the crowd pleasantly enchanted by The Album Leaf.
After a long, well worth-it wait, Tycho emerged from the curtains. Scott Hansen: producer, graphic designer, videographer, and lead man captured the ears and feet of everyone in the crowd. While expecting Tycho to be a one-man band with his synthesizer and MPC, I was amazed to find the artist a trio, including live drums. Playing mostly from his 2011 release, Dive, Tycho took the audience on a musical experience I’ll never forget. Opening with “Adrift,” they showed flawless recreation of their electronic recordings. Not a sound was missing and the live band experience made the set even more impressive. Mostly dabbling around on keys, Hansen picked up a guitar every once in a while to add a little extra flavor to his sweet music. After only two songs, someone from the crowd screamed, “Best show ever!” followed by cheers in agreement (as I would have to concur). Washes of ambience and pure gold melodies harvested themselves from Hansen’s keyboard as Tycho jammed on. The drummer, obviously very into his music, certainly had a way with making simplistic beats sound complex and tasteful.
If starring at the back of your eyelids wasn’t enough, Hansen’s wave crashing, sepia toned sunsets projected onto a screen in the back, completing any parts of your imagination left unfilled. Songs like “Hours” and “ Dive“ were instant hits with flowing synth melody that swept you off your feet and melted your heart. As the set came to a close it was obvious we were going to get an encore. Hansen emerged once again from the curtains while he timidly stated that he was going to play a few new solo songs. Filled with apprehension and sadness at the lack of live drums and bass (and “Costal Brake”), the crowd took to the two solo pieces quite well. He invited the rest of the band onstage to close with “Costal Brake” ending the night in no better way.
All in all, Tycho’s luscious bass, sultry beats, and swirling multi-dimensional ambience culminated into pure, danceable beauty.
Slider image by Sendung Tonspur