Tag Archives: Typhoon

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Kyle Morton Goes Solo at Rough Trade NYC on Friday Night

January 23rd, 2017

Kyle Morton – Rough Trade NYC – January 20, 2017

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The path from band member to solo career can often lead to a clear separation from the former, but Kyle Morton of Typhoon has managed to avoid that divide. Rather his solo album was birthed while he was working on the group’s next major release. It’s not surprising that Morton had qualms touring alone when there are 11 members in Typhoon. In an interview, Morton confessed his nervousness of going it alone: “I’m learning a lot more self-reliance, since I’m out here traveling by myself. I never really wanted to tour by myself because it seemed kind of daunting. But there’s something kind of nomadic and cool about it.” And so the frontman arrived solo onstage before a welcoming crowd at Rough Trade NYC on Friday evening.

Covering a large portion of his debut album, What Will Destroy You, Morton expertly mixed new material with Typhoon fan favorites throughout the set. His singing cadence, which resembled Conor Oberst’s on “Poor Bastard,” was especially punctuated by the morbid, melancholic lyrics. The crowd quickly joined in on the Typhoon track “Belly of the Cavern” by stomping along to provide percussion before echoing the refrain “I will be good though my body be broken” on “Common Sentiments.” Morton joked that one really only had to sing that bit to be part of the band, which endeared him to the audience even more. The mention that his wife, Wild Ones lead singer Danielle Sullivan, was in attendance served as a teaser for an inevitable duet.

Before she would take the stage, Morton sweetly dedicated “My Little Darlin’ Knows My Nature” to Sullivan. Shining a new light on the familiar “Artificial Light” and “Prosthetic Love,” the stripped-down Typhoon songs highlighted the painstaking lyrics that can get lost in the hefty band’s weight. When the words “last song” provoked grumbles, the songwriter discarded the pseudo exit of an encore to remain onstage, calling upon his wife to join him on a new Typhoon song. And if that weren’t enough to appease the crowd, the pair covered the John Prine and Iris Dement duet “In Spite of Ourselves” to cap off the night. —Sharlene Chiu

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Portugal. The Man and Grouplove Close Out Tour in Central Park

September 17th, 2014

Portugal. The Man/Grouplove – Rumsey Playfield – September 16, 2014

Portugal. The Man – Rumsey Playfield – September 16, 2014

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Midway through their set at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park on Tuesday—the closing night of the Honda Civic TourGrouplove’s Hannah Hooper declared that the tour was all about “making art.” As incongruous as that may sound, the show was one of those rare instances where live rock and roll was elevated to an art form: the music, the lights, the visuals and the crowd interaction. The pairing of Grouplove with Portugal. The Man was an inspired billing, each band bringing a different aesthetic and energy to the performance, and both inspiring a whole lot of singing along, clapping along, waving arms along, pretty much everything along.

After a big-sound set from Typhoon, Grouplove entered amidst a cloud of smoke and a haze of hip-hop over the PA. Their set was 70 minutes of cathartic, jubilant bounce, beginning with the opening “I’m with You” and its sing-along-ready ah ah ahs and oh oh ohs. The audience was in it from the start. Grouplove’s free-form sing-along contrasted with the visuals, which had a sleek, modern feel, colorful geometric rectangles or simulated multihued television static danced on the large-screen backdrop while the audience danced in front. Everyone loves a hit, and Grouplove played plenty of them, highlighted by the ecstatic groover “Tongue Tied.” The set peaked with the couplet of “Slow” and “Borderlines and Aliens,” and particularly the space in between the two, where lights, the band’s movement and the pulsing drums worked together as one entity, eventually releasing into a wild guitar jam. After a rousing “Colours” to close their part of the show, the band returned for a rare mid-show encore, bringing along members of Portugal. The Man for a crowd-riling version of the Who’s “Baba O’Riley,” everyone screaming the classic lyrics. Any other night it would have been the ultimate sing-along, but there was more to come.

A quick breather later, Portugal. The Man returned and picked up right where Grouplove left off, with another classic-rock along, covering a verse and a chorus or two of Pink Floyd’s anthemic “Another Brick in the Wall Part 2” before quickly kicking into their own “Purple Yellow Red and Blue.” Their aesthetic was more bright-eyed psychedelic, like crawling into a living version of frontman John Gourley’s bizarre drawings. That is until the lasers came out, transforming Rumsey Playfield into an alien planet, with Portugal. The Man’s music as a galactic soundtrack. The band was in top form, looping verses of multiple songs into coherent medleys, stretching others, like “All Your Light,” into prog-rock freak-outs and dropping snippets of perfectly placed covers throughout. This was live music as art form, the audience digging every moment and singing from beginning to end. Like Grouplove had done, the band saved the biggest moment for their encore, which began with their slow-build rager “Sleep Forever” and ended with all of Grouplove and Typhoon onstage—horns, strings and all—for the second ultimate sing-along of the night, everyone belting out the coda to “Hey Jude”: the final touch on a work of art. —A .Stein

Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com

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Typhoon Carries Away Webster Hall

March 28th, 2014

Typhoon – Webster Hall – March 27, 2014

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Is there a cap on the number of members that can be in a band? If you asked the Portland, Ore.-based Typhoon, they’d probably say no. Lead singer Kyle Morton and his hefty group round out at about a dozen members to create orchestrations that include strings, horns, percussion and a bevy of other quirky instruments. As NPR darlings for a few years now, All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen has described the outfit as creating “rock anthems like emotional tidal waves,” and further suggested, “If you’re looking for music that touches your heart, that helps you appreciate the everyday, sit back and get ready for Typhoon to carry you away.”

As the members of Typhoon filed onstage at a nearly sold-out Webster Hall last night, delicate strings faded over soaring horns to open the evening with “Artificial Light,” from their last album, White Lighter. They continued to play from that LP offering “Common Sentiments” and “Young Fathers.” Morton confessed that he was delighted to be back in New York City, spending his day as a tourist hitting up Grand Central Station, the library and Battery Park. Fans clapped along to “Summer Home” from the 2011 EP A New Kind of House, and they were easily persuaded by the diminutive lead singer to join in on “Dreams of Cannibalism.” Amidst the simmering tenors, pumping keys and swirling horns, the audience chanted, “Unhand me, I am not a criminal and if I am, I paid the man just let me go. Soon enough you will be dancing at my funeral.” Featured most recently in a climactic scene of the Veronica Mars movie, “Prosthetic Love” provided a calm, reflective moment during the set before the rollicking “Hunger & Thirst” crescendoed to the set’s conclusion.

Luckily, the group returned to encore with a trio of “Morton’s Fork,” “The Honest Truth” and “Caesar/Reed Road.” Between the bobbing heads in the packed hall and the spontaneous clapping, the night was a whirlwind of joy and a celebration of life. Something that Morton doesn’t take lightly as it’s known that he suffered from Lyme Disease as a kid. The lyrics transcend his personal struggles into anthems to seize the day. To say fans were carried away into the night was an understatement. —Sharlene Chiu

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Typhoon Bring Their Big, Joyous Sound to Webster Hall Tomorrow

March 26th, 2014

The orchestral-rock group Typhoon has a big sound matched by a big lineup. Kyle Morton (vocals and guitar), Alex Fitch (drums and vocals), Tyler Ferrin (horns and vocals), Devin Gallagher (ukulele and vocals), Dave Hall (guitar and vocals), Pieter Hilton (drums and vocals), Jen Hufnagel (violin and vocals), Ryan McAlpin (trumpet and vocals), Shannon Steele (violin and vocals), Eric Stipe (trumpet and vocals) and Toby Tanabe (bass and vocals) make crescendo-building anthemic music reminiscent of bands like Arcade Fire and Frightened Rabbit. Typhoon (above, playing “Young Fathers” for WGBH) have put
out a pair of EPs and a pair of LPs, including, White Lighter (stream it below), released
last fall. AllMusic weighed in: “Morton and company take frequent leaps of faith, punching holes in the indie-pop template with enough melodic left turns, odd time signatures and complex breakdowns to lure a few unsuspecting prog-rock fans into the fold. That said,
this is fist-pumping, NPR-loving, heartfelt arena pop through and through, with highlights arriving via immaculately crafted mini-epics.” Find yourself singing along when this Portland, Ore., music collective plays Webster Hall tomorrow night.