Our Danger!Sound love of Tycho began years ago, with one of photographer Tracy’s and my first dates at his show at the Greek in 2017. We followed him to his New Years’ Eve show, and our first together, at the Fillmore to ring in 2018, and had tickets in hand for his 2019 Greek show this September when the genial Scott Hansen, aka Tycho, announced a pop-up show at the Independent, and ticket holders for the Greek would get first dibs. We jumped at the chance to cover this Bay Area native’s home town show, and as always, they did not disappoint
For his fifth and latest studio album, Weather, Scott brought in friend and artist, Hannah Cottrel, aka Saint Sinner, for something brand new for his previous discography--lyrics. Weather feels short compared to his other albums, as this set of songs adhere to a more pop-style structure and length compared to his prior free-flowing, dreamy ambience, but this is a sharp and intentional Tycho.
Each song has strong energy, driving with intention toward their climaxes and with a catchiness that keeps Cottrel’s hooks in your head long after the show has ended. Her breathy, soft vocals are the perfect compliment to the electric guitar’s warm, full tones, and where this instrument would usually serve as the clear melodic line, Cottrel’s voice dances across the tops of the notes with ease. It’s a gorgeous, lush sound, a perfect evolution to this new age of Tycho.
The Independent was jam packed with devoted fans (one sweet guy we encountered by the front of the audience was wearing his Epoch t-shirt, and was endearingly excited to be repping it, even though he worried he may not seem super cool). So jam packed, that I had to excuse myself to take some deep breaths outside and cede my front-of-the-pit position for the back corner and some wiggle room.
Good vibes abounded, and Tycho opened the show with a set of some of their old favorites before taking a break and bringing Cottrel on to perform Weather in its entirety. Dressed in white head-to-toe, she was an almost angelic presence at the front of the band, fitting perfectly into the effortlessly cool aesthetic of the rest of the usual Tycho band.
The room was flowing, grooving, and cheering, absolutely in rapture--Tycho’s music and impeccably designed visuals create a transcendent show, and in this smaller setting, you get the feeling you’re part of something. Something creative, important, very hip. You’re part of it, and they’re stoked to have you there.
They caught me at a moment I was deeply homesick for my native San Diego, and for a moment, soaking up their wave visuals, I got choked up. That’s the feel of a Tycho show. Your heart soars, you’re treated to music that carries you away, all matched with hypnotic visuals to sail into. For a moment, it made me feel like I was home, and I know everyone who goes to one of Tycho’s shows has a similar immersive experience. I absolutely loved this smaller Independant show, and I feel incredibly lucky to have witnessed such a great band in an intimate setting. With the festival circuit what it is, it feels rare to catch one of your favorite acts at a hometown venue, and Tycho gave us all a real treat.