Photographs by Sarah Rix.
Almost exactly a year ago I checked out a band unfamiliar to my ears at the Hoxton. Sacramento’s Tycho, the brainchild of Scott Hansen managed to pack out the small venue and by the end of the evening Hansen and his touring cohorts had me running to the merch stand to buy whatever albums available, despite the limitations of the Hoxton as a live band venue.
Fast forward to last night where Tycho returned to Toronto packing the much larger Danforth Music Hall on their second visit to the city behind last year’s Awake. Again, Tycho filled the venue, something that baffled me given what little media attention Tycho gets. However they do it, again a vociferous and rabid audience enthusiastically welcomed the four piece to the stage, offering up a set revolving mostly around Awake and 2011’s Dive.
For an instrumental band doling out rhythmic chill out music, presentation in this size a venue is everything and Tycho come well-armed with fitting projections that fill the Music Hall’s back wall and was almost as likely to put you in a trance as the cinematic hues coming off the stage. Also, Tycho’s chilled out vibe on record is wiped out with some serious rhythmic muscle in the live setting giving the songs a different live on stage. There’s a reason the drummer got the loudest roar of approval.
The sound guy was also in fine form. Tycho filled but never overwhelmed the Music Hall’s sound system with their signature soundscapes and rhythms. Aside from some keyboard issues toward the end of the set, the band sounded great and looked to be soaking up the crowd’s energetic vibe.
So while they might not be the most “exciting” performers (no pyro, high kicks, gnarly tongue, extra gore, etc.) Tycho clearly know what best accentuates their songs in the live setting. Between the finest sound I’ve heard at the Music Hall in years, the visuals, the band-crowd connection and the perfect sound, it’s not hard to see why the vast majority of the devoted mass stayed until the very last note.