I had the pleasure of waking up fully blissful this morning, a rare occurrence on Mondays for me. Sure, it can seem a bit like a cliched joke at this point that Mondays are a tough day, but it’s a reality for anyone in the corporate world that the weekend is over and Monday is a day meant for no fun.
But I got to see Tycho last night, and if you’re versed with the music created by Scott Hansen and his crew, you wouldn’t be surprised that I woke up feeling like the world was a beautiful place full of beautiful melodies. That the world is a place where nature should be celebrated and artwork is given a place to be shown. That a world exists where artists release new albums in the middle of their tour instead of waiting until next time.
Last night at the Marquee Theatre showed all of those elements mentioned above in spades. The band had a set of dates booked and chose to release their new LP, Epoch, right in the middle of the run. And the backdrop behind the band was a huge screen set with the new album art and other visuals that Tycho has drawn from in the past, creating a fully immersive vibe not unlike something you’d see at a modern art museum. With all those new beautiful melodies to draw from off the latest album, we were definitely in for a treat.
I ended up arriving a little late for the opening Big Wild set but what we saw was pretty damn impressive. Definitely on the list to check out deeper.
If it sounded like a producer/DJ project from afar — as it was some danceable electronic music coming from the PA — it was definitely a lot more interactive than what you’d normally see. The set featured some live drumming and triggering as the beats played in the background, so the crowd was digging it hard.
The crowd waited patiently for the sound techs to finish up their stage prep, and when it was finally time for the show to start, iPhones were out in full force to capture the perfect shot of the opener track.
Quite fittingly, it was “Division”, the first single they had put out earlier this year that made it onto new LP.
I had wondered to myself if we were about to hear the new album in its entirety before we heard anything old, but when the band launched into “Dive” it was pretty clear we were going to get a proper mix of older tracks with the new ones. Probably a smart move considering not everyone had been fully familiarized with the new tracks yet, but we still got “Source”, “Receiver”, “Epoch”, and “Horizon” off the new album amidst older favorites like “Past Is Prologue”, “A Walk” (which closed the set) and “Montana” (not to mention the classic encore tracks).
Coming up on the final song, I floated around the venue and found a great spot behind the soundboard to chill. And I’m struck by the memory of the guy next to me having a really powerful reaction when the band launched into “Awake” to close the show; you could really tell it was the song he needed to hear right then. A perfect closer to the evening.
The full set of music plus encore clocked in at around 85 minutes, and it was a full Tycho experience like I had never seen before. If you’ve only caught them on a festival stage it’s probably not enough, especially if it was a daytime set. The whole vibe of the show and the way the music connected with the crowd is definitely going to be a strong memory for me; not that many people are making music like this right now and it’s not to be missed.
Here’s the setlist from the show:
Division, Dive, PBS, Source, Past Is Prologue, Montana, Receiver, Epoch, Spectre, Horizon, L, A Walk
Encore: Daydream, Hours, Awake
10 04 16 – Las Vegas, NV
10 06 16 – Los Angeles, CA – SOLD OUT
10 07 16 – Los Angeles, CA
10 16 16 – San Francisco, CA
01 21 17 – Singapore, Singapore
01 26 17 – Brisbane, Australia
01 28 17 – Melbourne, Australia
01 30 17 – Auckland, New Zealand
02 03 17 – Adelaide, Australia
02 04 17 – Sydney, Australia
02 05 17 – Freemantle, Australia
^ with Heathered Pearls
~ with Big Wild
Words by Justin Ward | Photos by Justin Yee