By: BoB Mandich
It was a good day for Chicago on Thursday. We were on day 4 of a stretch of beautiful weather that almost seemed unfathomable just a week ago. The warm temperatures and sunny skies could not have come at a better time because Tycho was in town. California native Scott Hansen is the man behind the beauty, responsible for the audio and visual art of the Tycho moniker. Though the production is all him the live performance is spread out between 4 people as a full band. It might seem hard to imagine such a soft sound being split up and distributed amongst 4 instruments but when you experience it live and in person it really is something awesome to behold.
The sounds of a loud thumping heart filled the Concord while the band took the stage. It was a very full house of people that did not look ready to dance but instead just take everything in. This was a highly anticipated show and the crowd’s eagerness and excitement could barely be contained. Tycho opened with “Awake”, the first single from the newest album of the same name. The live band, just like the produced recordings, center around the drums. Every time a drum was hit it was felt in the walls and on the hardwood floors. Whether it was fast or slow, the drums controlled the pace of the songs. The band as a whole had a real cohesion and unity to them; it was very clear that they had practiced vigorously to make sure the live show was up to par (or even better) with the recorded materials.
As mentioned before Scott Hansen is also a visual artist and those talents were put on full display during the performance. Visuals of the sun, gorgeous deserts and beautiful beaches provided the perfect background all night. Outlines of the bands’ shadows could be seen on the screen, making it very easy to imagine yourself in any of the dreamy locations laid before your eyes. I think it’s safe to say that most people like to paint mental pictures when listening to good music so it’s really cool to see an artist take that next step and create the visuals as well. Tycho’s music is so peaceful and serene that the visuals Scott Hansen created were probably already in most listener’s heads before they were even seen on screen. Tycho dove into all of his catalog including a few tracks from his first album, Past Is Prologue. The deeper he went into his past the louder the audience would scream in approval. The entire crowd remained in awe throughout the night, basking in the glory of soft melodies landing on their eardrums. Nobody wanted it to end but just an hour and 15 minutes later it was over. Though it was a lot shorter than the shows we’re normally used to that takes nothing away from how incredibly beautiful the performance was. Everybody inside Concord Music Hall was floating on a cloud and landed softly back on to the streets of Chicago when it was all said and done. Whenever Tycho returns to Chicago two things will be true: His audience will be bigger and it will have been way too long since just last night.