Last night The Lyric hosted one of the leading names within the ambient electronica genre, Tycho. And once the San Francisco natives took the stage, the experience was enthralling, to say the least.
As a casual fan of Tycho for the past couple of years, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from a live show by the group. Given their tendency to err on the calm, more atmospheric side of electronic music, it was hard to envision how the group could keep the energy up for a whole set.
The simple answer to this is that they didn’t. There really was no energy, but anything different than that just wouldn’t be appropriate.
Instead, Tycho invited you inside a universe where the traditional concept of a concert was thrown out the window, and the band simply expressed themselves through a full hour of multi-media madness.
Perhaps the one thing that their live show reveals is that group’s records truly do not reflect the artistry and technical skill that is put into each track. It’s when you see them perform everything live that you can truly appreciate the musical feats that they are achieving. In particular, drummer Rory O’Connor absolutely shreds the entire show. Perhaps no band member truly encapsulates the madness that characterizes the show than O’Connor.
However, aside from this aspect, all participating musicians put on an equally interesting performance. The band’s lead man, Scott Hansen, mans a station containing multiple synths and MIDI controllers, all of which play an instrumental role in the direction of the show. It is clear that one misstep from him could truly throw the entire band off, but Hansen remains calm and collected as ever, flawlessly executing each note and beat without even a hint of fatigue or exasperation.
This is of course accompanied by a multi-media display that not only entertains, but forces all attendees to truly contemplate the meaning of what is being played and shown while the band is performing.
Whether it be simple shapes and colors, or a full live-action narrative being played out onscreen behind the group, it can only make one wonder what Tycho is trying to convey in contingency with their music.
It’s certainly something that should make any normal person think, and perhaps the only correct response is to simply just sit there and take it all in.
It’s a different live music experience than most are probably used to, but it’s worth going.
I personally could not recommend it enough