Sublime, Not Serene – Tycho at The Freebird

As Tycho hit the first note of their opener, “Adrift,” a girl in the audience leaned over to me and said, “I can’t tell you how many times this shit brought me out of a panic attack.”

While I was glad that Tycho’s music had helped this stranger that shared such a personal anecdote with me, I was more seized by the energetic live sound of the band. I had not seen Tycho perform before and went out to Freebird Live with an assumption that the evening would deliver a more lulling experience, but it was far more sublime than it was serene. Tycho (Scott Hansen), is known for the organic elements of his sound, but I unfairly lumped him in with the button pushing, knob turning live performers of similar genres.

Most of their set list, (http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/tycho/2015/freebird-live-jacksonville-beach-fl-bc93582.html], was made up of material from Dive and their newest album, Awake. They perform as a four-piece with synthesizer, guitar, bass, keyboard and drums and possess all the energy of a rock band. The kaleidoscopic images on the backdrop enhanced the dowtempo, electrogaze, casting the blue and orange hues that are so prevalent in Tycho’s album cover designs.

photo: Brenton Crozier
photo: Jen “Homey” Arevalo

It’s often the case that artists in these genres excel in the studio. As much as I love both aforementioned albums, the live experience was better―the peaks and valleys more punctuated, the psychedelia more vivid and the power unmatchable. Tycho’s drummer, Rory O’Connor, who also performs as electronic artist Nitemoves, was unbelievable in his ability to recreate and even dress up the recorded beats. All of the band members were exceptional and more than reciprocated the energy of the sold out audience.

There wasn’t a mundane moment in the set, but “Hours,” “See” and “Past Is Prologue” were real highlights. The encore began with Scott performing the Com Truise remix of “Awake” and the band then joining him at the song’s climax. They ended the evening with “Montana.” It exceeded expectations, was gorgeous, engaging and made me want to go home and pick up an instrument . . . or burn it, I was somewhere in the middle.

 

About Brenton Crozier

Brenton has lived in Jacksonville for nearly 25 years and worked in various capacities in the digital marketing industry. He was the Multimedia Producer for the NPR show, State of the Re:Union and has written for EU Jacksonville for more than 7 years. Follow him on Twitter: @brentoncrozier.