It was the first of two sold-out performances in the heart of Hollywood at the iconic Fonda Theatre. The synth-driven indie pop outfit of Gardens & Villa began the evening with their unique, lightweight sound. At one moment airy and ethereal, then instantly heavy and commanding–these Santa Barbara boys have created a sound all their own. Delicate rhythms driving forward and strangely captivating vocals combine to make Gardens & Villa sound like Phantogram’s much more chill younger cousins. They closed their set with their hit “Black Hills”, a borderline tribal groove with a steady, heavy beat. A great way to cap off a memorable perforamce. They were the perfect upbeat option to balance the soul-shaking performance Tycho would soon deliver.
The Sacramento-based creative god Scott Hansen is known to the art world as the photographer/design artist ISO50, but better known to the music world as the electronic artist, Tycho. They hit the road earlier this year to support their fourth studio effort, Awake —- which is easily Tycho’s most brilliant album to date. Beautiful sweeping melodies dance over intelligent and intricate beats creating a dreamy, otherworldly vibe all their own.
Hansen’s world-class live band is comprised of Zac Brown (bass guitar, guitar), Rory O’Connor (drums) and Joe Davancens (bass guitar, keyboard, synth) while Hansen handles synths, guitar, bass guitar and visual programming himself (no sweat). Making it look simple as can be, they create a massive wall of sound with subsonic waves of bass. I could feel my sternum shaking AND I LOVED IT.
They jumped right into the set with the title track “Awake”. The wandering melody is balanced by the steady clip of pace being fueled by their expertly talented drummer, Rory O’Connor. The rest of their set was incredibly dynamic, knowing when to let feel-good jams like “L” expand and build organically with the energy of the crowd. They balanced their set with magical swells of sound on their ambient, mystical tracks like “A Walk” off of 2012’s Dive.
Behind them, video art was projected onto a massive screen—often bathing the band members in vibrant pixels. At a Tycho show, the interplay of the video art and the music creates complex emotional arcs that transcend the typical concert-going experience (in my opinion). Washes of moving color that, if frozen at any moment, would create stunning Impressionist-ic works of art. Saturated videos of surfers curling down a wave. Galaxies. Oceans. Deserts. Emotionally evocative and visually stunning, this video production is an important part of Tycho’s identity as an artist.
Closing their encore with ‘Montana’, another fan favorite off of their new album, Tycho brought their powerful, cinematic music to life with finesse and passion. This is an absolutely brilliant live set that is not to be missed. They will be making many festival appearances this summer, including but not limited to: Sasquatch, Electric Forest and Outside Lands. Check their dates below to see when you’ll be crossing paths with this brilliant tour, you won’t be sorry.
Tycho 2014 Tour Dates
May 25 – Sasquatch Music Festival (Quincy, WA)
June 13 – Red Rocks (Morrison, CO)
June 26 – Electric Forest (Rothbury, MI)
July 05 – Wanderlust Snowmass (Snowmass, CO)
July 17 – Latitude Festival (Suffolk, UK)
July 22 – Gorilla (Manchester, UK)
July 23 – Button Factory (Dublin, Ireland)
July 31 – Crystal Ballroom (Portland, OR)
Aug 01 – Neptune Theatre (Seattle, WA)
Aug 03 – Wanderlust Whistler (Whistler, Canada)
Aug 09 – Outside Lands (San Francisco, CA)
Aug 26 – Ceremonia Festival (Mexico City, Mexico)
Sep 25 – Pygmalion Festival (Urbana, IL)