Show Pics: Tycho @ Stubb’s (5/12)

Last Friday was an insanely busy night in Austin. While Nathan camped out with Team ATH bands over at Hotel Vegas, I was taking in a full set from Tycho at Stubb’s.

It has been a big year for Scott Hansen. He started the Tycho project as an aside to his graphic design (check it out at ISO50.com). The live shows have featured projections of his art as an element of the performance. To the credit of that graphic design, I sometimes “see” the design language when spacing out listening to the records. The latest album, Epoch, was Grammy-nominated for Best Dance/Electronic Album. That had to be a rad feeling, and a bit odd given how much of the record is not electronic or dance. The Austin show was the end of the tour, so we were treated with an extended set of lesser played songs after an intermission following the normal show.

Anyway, you can relive the night with photos of Tycho and openers Khruangbin along with some more words and even get a few bonus shots of our friends Tres Oui at Beerland. Deal?

Hit Easy Tiger before hand. Cheese board, some ribs and a great Founder’s Session IPA…

Let’s talk hardware real quick, I was using a Vivtar 20-90mm f2.8-3.5 zoom from the mid-seventies on the Df. It was really a moonshot lens for the time, being almost constant aperture, that big an aperture, at that time, pretty unheard of. Push and pull to zoom, twist to focus, it is a fun challenge to shoot only three songs and get enough keepers to show off. The lens vignettes like crazy wide open and flares like a JJ Abrams Star Trek reboot. Deficiencies to some, but I love this quirky lens.

Khruangbin comes out and sets off to a smooth set of Thai psych-funk. The band originated in Houston and is the inevitable likely/unlikely story of falling in love with a genre and spinning it a bit to fit their groove. Banter between songs is light-hearted and almost tongue-in-cheek. The grooves are plenty, though, and you settle in with all funkiness of a beachside disco in Bangkok. I would love to have these guys play an end of summer party by a body of water under a canopy of trees.

Tycho, the band, strolls on stage for their set. Yes, Scott is “the band”, but the live setting is a foundation now. Multiple guitars at times, bass and drums gliding underneath the synth elements and live keyboards. The only mic on stage for human use is to allow Scott to chat with the crowd every few songs, espousing love for Austin, the first place Tycho played live away from Sacremento, and thanking the audience for all the support.

These songs are a common part of my stress relief. Interestingly, the crowd at a Tycho show has a high level of diversity, from fans of prog-rock instrumentals to EDM kids on the come down. The set list would have satisfied all involved, especially given the extended nature. We got an extra seven songs after an intermission that followed the normal set’s 10 songs. I loved the full experience over the festival set at Day for Night. As for highlights, “Epoch” was transcendent. “Awake” had the best translation to a live setting, fantastic blend of the synths, loops, guitars and lighting. Newer material is decidedly more organic versus early laptop-created material. Quite an evolution…

Finally, we night-capped with Tres Oui over at Beerland. Fun to see the boys again and the evolution of the new material is awesome. I love the new songs, rad preview for the big show up at Hole In The Wall.

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