Concert review: Tycho brings his Awake tour to The Ritz Ybor

A look back at the fine downtempo chillwave show that hit Ybor City this past Tue., June 9

click to enlarge Tycho at The Ritz Ybor, Ybor City, on Tue., June 9, 2015. - Brian Mahar
Brian Mahar
Tycho at The Ritz Ybor, Ybor City, on Tue., June 9, 2015.

Dreamy soundscapes, stuttering percussion, and layered keyboards is what Tycho does best. The producer/musician also known as Scott Hansen was a one-man band in the studio up until about three years ago, but the touring behind 2011's Dive found him backed by a full band and prompted him to make live instrumentalists a more permanent part of his overall sound. The show at the Ritz Ybor this past Tuesday night — Tycho's first stop in the U.S., after returning from a South America tour — marked my third time seeing Tycho, and on all three occasions, he and his band maintained the same consistent level of lush, organic sound, a feat far too many acts fail to achieve.

The crowd skewed younger here than at those previous shows, the overall attendance rather high for a weeknight, and these fans weren't shy about busting some moves to his danceable grooves. Some Tycho tracks are slow-burners that erupt into electronic odysseys while others launch into electro propulsion from the very start. Live, the sounds are loud and engulfing, but in a rather calming, trancelike way.

Tour warm-up Autograf hit the stage at 8:45 p.m. The Chicago DJ outfit have added their own remix flavor to several EDM hits. Live, they brought bongos and electronic xylophone to the equation, and had the bodies moving to familiar dance tracks that set the mood for the headliner. Autograf has their own material, but mostly stuck to remixes. I dug their energy and their responsiveness to the listeners; my only critique — the length of the set, which stretched to 9:45, was too long for an opener, especially considering the lack of originals that came into play.

click to enlarge Tycho aka Scott Hansen at The Ritz Ybor - Brian Mahar
Brian Mahar
Tycho aka Scott Hansen at The Ritz Ybor
Tycho's intro began right at 10 p.m. Hansen & Co. didn't appear right away, hanging back for a few minutes while ambient instrumentals set the mood, then hit the stage to a loud roar and opened with a favorite, "Adrift." Calming keyboards over steady high-hats and warm bass prompted steady head-bobs around the room. The subtle backdrop of projected visuals — which cycled through images like his most recent album cover, nostalgic snapshots of longing and childhood, waves crashing onto beaches, rosy billowing clouds, surfers catching a break, a beautiful women walking alone in a desert — made for an overall mesmerizing presentation and accompanied Tycho's electrogaze sound perfectly. I became enamored with drummer Rory O'Connor. With so much percussion and sound coming from the band's four members, his precision was always on point, while bassist/guitarist Zac Brown swayed back and fourth with half-lidded and sometimes completely closed eyes, looking just as hypnotized as everyone else in the room. Even though this was the tour behind third LP Awake and the set leaned heavily on that material, Tycho played songs from all three albums and as soon as the distinctive guitar and keyboard riff of "Dive" kicked in — likely Tycho's most well-known track and remixed frequently — the room erupted in applause. Flawless performances of "See" and "Apogee" also proved highlights, so finely executed it was almost as if you were listening to the album at home.

Including the encore, Tycho played for roughly 85 minutes, the quick break after the show's conclusion and loud requests for one more song bringing Hansen back to the stage to oblige with a huge smile. He kicked off with a solo DJ-style cut before joined by the band to deliver two great odes to wind down a great show: "Awake" and "Montana."

Overall, it was an enjoyable Tuesday night out, with both grooving and chill moments, and even though there were too few tracks played off Dive, Tycho reminded me why I was seeing his band a third time, and will continue to see them at future nearby (or in-town) dates. You should, too.

Scroll to read more Music News articles


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.