I had a feeling it might be big, but I was still curious to see how many people would go to the Hi-Dive last night. It turned out, even on a Wednesday night, that people came out in droves to catch a glimpse of the musical force that is Typhoon. By the end of the night, those that came early realized they got a lot more than they bargained for with a strong performance from Lord Huron and a quality opening set from Sour Boy, Bitter Girl.
|Benjamin Buttice of Sour Boy, Bitter Girl|
Sour Boy, Bitter Girl got the night started, and although their set was brief, it seemed to be just what the crowd needed to get in the mood for a good night of music. As I mentioned before, they have a sound that reminded me of mid-nineties alternative rock with a hint of folk. However, their live set featured no acoustic guitar, so the 'folk' aspect of their music was not as apparent. Still, especially for an opener at a small venue, they had a bit of a crowd and some were even singing along to their songs. Their style of music isn't exactly my cup of tea, but I can't fault them for not suiting my personal taste, and I did enjoy their performance of "Refugee Fighters". They did an admirable job with their set, the crowd seemed to enjoy it, and they setup the rest of the show nicely - which is the important thing.
|Ben Schneider of Lord Huron|
Next up was Lord Huron, who came onto the stage without much ado, despite there being a sea of people crowding the floor before them. I talked to many people in the audience, and the common theme was that they were at the show that night to see Typhoon and had little idea of who Lord Huron was. I don't know if that lit up extra passion in lead singer Ben Schneider and his band or if this was just another day at the office for Lord Huron, but they led into their set right away with full throttle intensity.
|Lord Huron's drummer had everything but the kitchen sink|
Lord Huron had a very impressive array of instruments on the stage, including improvised traditional folk instrumets - see the washboard on the drummer's chest pictured above for example. It was fun being one of the few that was familiar with Lord Huron's music in a big crowd of people. I got to witness the the sudden transformation of the crowd; from a collection of standing bodies anxiously waiting to see the headliner to a wildly dancing mass of people broadsided by what they were hearing and seeing on stage. There was a tangible electricity that zapped through the crowd, and the murmurings grew louder and louder: "Who are these guys? These guys are amazing!" By the time Lord Huron finished their set with "Mighty" there was a steady flow of people trying to make their way to the back corner of the Hi-Dive, hoping to get the chance to meet the people that just performed magic in front of their eyes and salivating at the chance to take home Lord Huron's music so they could relive the experience over again. Watch out for these guys the next time they come through, they will take your breath away.
|Typhoon brought eleven members of their band to Denver|
By the time Typhoon took the stage for the final set of the night, I wasn't sure which area was packed tighter - the dance floor filled with eager fans or the tiny Hi-Dive stage, which was made to look even smaller after Typhoon crammed it to capacity with all the gear and instruments required of eleven people. I mentioned before that I wanted to see the French horn section, but those two members were absent from the stage last night. It was a good thing though, because I think the stage would have buckled under the additional weight. Once all members of the band were ready to go, they huddled together, gave a loud concerted shout, took their respective places on stage and started delivering sweet music.
|Kyle Morton of Typhoon|
It was amazing watching all the members of the band work together like a finely tuned orchestra. They had two full drum sets. They had a separate percussionist who would also play ukulele and xylophone. They had someone working a sample pad. They had two violinists. They had two trumpeters. A bassist, a lead guitarist and lead singer/guitarist Kyle Morton rounded out this dynamic group of eleven. All members of the band would often sing in chorus, and coupled with the voices of the crowd, Typhoon had the Hi-Dive shaking like it was experiencing category force winds.
They played most of their album Hunger and Thirst, songs from their EP, A New Kind of House, and some new unreleased material. They played with such force, energy and passion, that even the slowest songs in their set list commanded the audience's full attention and involvement, making the entire concert very memorable. I especially enjoyed "Starting Over", "Summer Home" and "CPR - Claws Pt. 2". They finished their last song, and the Hi-Dive roared like I've never heard it rumble before as the audience clamored for more. "I guess we have to play another one. This is the only other song we know," quipped Kyle Morton. Typhoon then tore into another new song - this one very fast paced, energetic and danceable. The crowd nearly shook the Hi-Dive to the ground as nobody stood still for the finale.
Typhoon was an incredible band to see live. At first it seemed impossible that the sheer number of people on the stage could produce anything short of chaos, but they work so well together it is certainly anything but that. The fact that there were so many passionate individuals up there on stage just helped transfer even more energy to the crowd. If you see reports of Typhoon coming to a venue near you, don't board up your windows. Instead, make your way to the eye of the storm and be blown away by their music.
The entire night from start to finish was top notch. The experience was enhanced because so many people came out to support the music that night. The energy of the crowd was incredible, encouraging the performers on stage to impeccably deliver all that they had. That's what concerts are about, and everyone that was there knows they were a part of a special unique experience that can never happen the same way again. It was also great to see what Lord Huron did - so many people discovered a great new band that night. I bet many were wishing they knew about Lord Huron before so they could enjoy the performance more, but I'll bet most were grateful they got to see a new favorite unfold before their eyes. It just goes to show, great musical experiences can happen at any moment on any day of the week - you just have to seek it out. And the more people that do, the better those experiences are in the end.