Last night, Typhoon visited The Independent in San Francisco. The word of the night was “unconventional.” The number of members in the band was unconventional, as was the selection of instruments.
The unconventionality was most apparent when the band members began to take their positions on the stage. The blueprint couldn’t have been more appropriate for providing a defense against an attack by the concert-attendees. The drums, which are conventionally at the back of the stage, were positioned as a wall along most of the front of the stage. And it wasn’t the usual one drum set. Typhoon has two drummers (Pieter Hilton and Alex Fitch) with drum sets that together created a formidable wall of percussion with respect to both structure and sound. Attendees who arrived early in order to get a position against the stage likely did not know what they had bargained to achieve.
To fill the small gap left by the percussion, Kyle Morton positioned his keyboard and stood with his weapon of choice – the guitar. One side of the stage was well protected by the venue’s sound system and by a number of speakers. But what about the other side? Well, let’s add more percussion. Devin Gallagher plays the drums when he isn’t on his ukulele or guitar. Can’t have too much percussion, right?
Along the back of the stage stood the people armed with bows (Shannon Steele and Jen Hufnagel with their violins) or with brass (Ryan McAlpin and Eric Stripe on trumpet and Tyler Ferrin on various horns). The bass and guitar players protected the ends (Toby Tanabe on bass and Dave Hall on guitar). Yes, Typhoon has eleven members, just like the defensive team in football.
Kyle Morton is the lead singer, but Typhoon is at its best during group vocals. All eleven members contribute. The cadence of the vocals is inconsistent, but that’s a positive. At times, Kyle Morton is fast paced and almost a little violent. But the same song may include vocals that are thoughtful and well articulated. A good example is “Young Fathers.”
One aspect that was not unconventional last night was the quality of the patrons at The Independent. The Independent is able to draw audiences that are knowledgeable and respectful. Typhoon did voice its appreciation.
The last song of the regular set was CR/Claws pt. 2, which Typhoon is still offering as a free download.