Typhoon and Radiation City at Brighton Music Hall 9/29/2013

Typhoon took the stage at Brighton Music Hall on Sunday night to an all-smiles crowd. Maybe it was because this mini-indie-orchestra was playing to their Boston fanbase for the first time, or because their latest LP White Lighter is just that effing good, but the excitement in the crowd was unprecedented. Another huge factor to the crowd’s straight-up giddiness was opening act, Radiation City. We first saw Radiation City in 2011 at the tiny O’Briens Pub in Allston, and the vintage-inspired quintet has exponentially honed the skill they showed back then. The crowd reacted instantly to the group’s silky harmonies and synths. Our favorite tracks of the set, “Summer Rain” and “Find It of Use,” were carried by the indulgent vocals of Elisabeth Ellison. Ellison adorably strained towards the mic on her tiptoes to float her voice into the dense soundscapes, and the crowd loved every moment of it. So for fans of Foxygen, Jens Lekman, any variant of psych-pop since the 60s, and dancing Zou Bisou Bisou-style… please, give Rad City a spin.

Typhoon followed, who crammed no less than eleven band members onto the BMH stage. Due to a childhood illness that left him near death, frontman Kyle Morton’s music is haunted by anxiety and preemptive grief. And yet, Typhoon is anything but bleak on stage. The group’s two percussionists shared a double drum kit at front and center stage, which added a fun visual element to the set (especially when Pieter Hilton played so vigorously that parts of his kit fell off stage and into the crowd). Add in some group vocals and a horn section, and each song became a downright celebration, despite the seriousness of the lyrics. Though the imminence of death casts a shadow over many of Morton’s verses, Typhoon played each song with a true lust for life, as if that show may be their last. To Morton and Co.’s credit, I don’t know many bands out there that could cause me to ponder my own existence, all while dancing and woo-ing like a sorority girl. I guess it’s only right that a guy who almost died can make music that reminds us how freaking great it feels to be alive.

Posted on by Caroline in Best of 2013, Concert Review, M&T Favorites

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