Review: Typhoon @ Revolution Hall, 6.11.2022
Written by Ned Tilbrook on June 14, 2022
Photo credit: Matthew Thomas Ross
Last Friday and Saturday night, Portland Indie favorites Typhoon took to the stage at Revolution Hall to round out a tour in support of their new EP Underground Complex No. 1. Emerging from the Portland scene in the late 2000s, Typhoon have released a total of five studio albums and four EPs which established them as a particularly fine example of the sort of tender folk-tinged indie that exploded in the early 2010s.
When KSPU attended Typhoon’s Saturday date, it was the day after the end of another hectic term at PSU, paralleling the end of Typhoon’s tour. The chilled out indie vibes of support act Ancient Pools washed away the residual stresses of the school year, as an eager crowd gathered for Typhoon’s second night. When singer Kyle Morton opened the set with the words ‘we’ve got a lot to get through because we’re going to play it all.’ A loud cheer followed and, over the following two hours, they duly did. It didn’t take long to be lost in the music, often ethereal but at times bracing; by the time ‘Empire Builder’ (a personal favorite from 2021’s Sympathetic Magic) was played twenty minutes in, the crowd were enraptured, and a palpable, powerful love for the band was present. Words to the effect of ‘we haven’t played this in a long time, this is just for you’ were heard several times throughout the night.
‘Empire Builder’ from last year’s full-length album Sympathetic Magic
As the waves of earnest vocals and airy indie guitars built and broke subtle tensions to a delighted crowd, old friends were called up on stage. Typhoon is centered around a relatively stable core of high school friends, but various other musicians have come and gone through the band’s seventeen years. By the end of the night there were two trumpets, two drumkits, and a ukulele onstage, besides the violin, two guitars, and bass. This evening felt like a celebration of this band’s quietly confident career to date, the sound filling out with the addition of musicians and the increasing frequency and raucousness of the singalongs. Even in hometown shows, it is rare to see such an instant and powerful connection between performers and crowd develop, but such was the warmth inside Revolution Hall on this relatively mild June evening, that the whole room felt as if it were one from the very start. The close feeling was further fostered by the messages of thanks from the stage – as it was revealed that violinist Shannon Steele’s mother had been with them on tour to help look after her 4-month-old baby!
‘New Wife’ from the new EP Underground Complex No. 1
As the warmth of Revolution Hall dissipated into the cool early summer evening, it was impossible to escape the sensation that something quite special had just occurred within the auditorium of the old high school. Last Saturday was a celebratory night for true Portland scene stalwarts, and a perfect coda to another taxing term.
Sympathetic Magic & Underground Complex No. 1 are both available now on Roll Call Records.