Tycho in Austin, TX
Tycho played not one but two sold out shows at the Parish club in Austin, TX this past weekend. Scott Hansen, the mastermind behind the beats is now touring with a four-piece live band including himself on synthesizer, guitar, bass guitar as well as visuals, Zac Brown on bass guitar and guitar, Joe Davancens on bass guitar, keyboard and synthesizer and perhaps the most impressive member Rory O’Connor on drums. The stage was full of their instruments and gear and backed with a white cloth where Hansen projected colorful images throughout the enthralling performance.
To me, the beauty of Tycho is the balance they strike in so many aspects of their production. The music is both synthesized yet organic, complex yet stunningly simple, intellectual yet available. Because of this, Tycho has amassed a wonderfully vast and varied audience. This was one of the most endearing characteristics of the show. The audience went beyond the usual electronic music community that frequents similar shows, and represented a beautiful array of individuals from all walks of life. It reminded me that one of the great powers of music is to unify and bring together; the feeling of connectedness was strong throughout the show, everyone seemed so excited to see these beloved musicians, and I think we were all struck with a unanimous sense of awe as we watched the show unfold.
Tycho played a mix of tracks from almost all of their (we’re going with the plural pronoun for now) albums including the newest one, Awake. Although their live performance was much alike the recorded songs there was a sense of comfort in it. I let myself ride the precious wave of nostalgia that accompanies each track, others seemed to do the same and there was absolutely a collective dreamlike state across the audience. Tycho’s soft, often melancholy tracks are a transcendent listening experience. We were all present in that moment yet visiting something distant in depths of memory or emotion.
Despite the languid quality of their music, the percussive elements kept it bright, energetic and danceable. I heard many audience members comment on how impressive drummer Rory O’Connor was. Truly, this dark horse at the back of the stage kept things alive and Awake – no pun intended – with his reliable rhythm and beats.
I left this show creatively inspired and mentally cleansed. Everything seemed so careful, calculated and conscious; it was a refreshing event. Tycho brings a very different kind of IDM experience that I urge others to indulge in, these remarkable musicians are just as enjoyable live as they are recoded.
Photos by the Goff Experiment. Check out the full album here!