Typhoon Carries Away Webster Hall

March 28th, 2014

Typhoon – Webster Hall – March 27, 2014

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