A crowd of about 200 roared when lead singer and songwriter of Typhoon, Kyle Morton, said he was glad to be in San Diego. Typhoon played “The Loft” at UC San Diego on October 15 — a venue with about a 30 foot long stage that put the band right beside the crowd. Fans crowded an arm’s length away from Typhoon’s two drum sets at the front of the stage.
“There’s a real reciprocal relationship between performer and the crowd they’re performing to and it could be as simple as how enthusiastic the crowd is,” Morton told The Point Weekly.
There’s a oneness between band and audience that Portland-based Typhoon promotes, displayed by their interactions with fans throughout the show; the two feed off each other.
Morton is about 5’7” with deep-set blue eyes. He was giving fans high fives as he and the other ten members of Typhoon crowded onto the stage. The numerous multi-instrumentalists of the band had each of their instruments close at hand, creating a dense network of guitars, keyboards, drums, and cords.
Typhoon played “Artificial Light” off the new record “White Lighter.” Morton starts a song of unison — trumpeters and violinists complementing each other, both electric guitarists playing the same chords and both drummers mirroring each other stroke for stroke.
The song builds, then slows, then climbs to a climax. Midway through Morton sings a tender verse about the ephemeralness of moments and seeking to capture them. A hushed crowd listened in, as the female violinists harmonize to Morton’s tone.
The momentum soon picks up again then stops . . . a few seconds of quiet . . . then the band erupts shouting the last word of the song — home — elongating the “o” into two waves of chorus, all 11 shouting together.
In an interview with Emerald, Morton talked about getting Lyme Disease and having a kidney transplant. He tells the story of how he got this disease in the song “The Lake” — a song of deep regret, in which he talks about the acquisition and effects of the disease.
“Compared to being on dialysis, it’s much preferable, but it’s still something you have to take a lot of poisons to keep your immune system in line and keep it from rejecting the foreign object. It’s shaded my life in a very certain color,” Morton told The Point Weekly.
In an interview with Magnifier, Morton mentioned that a lot of their lyrics deal with despair, but when the band sings them together “it makes for an interesting paradox,” that is “as simple as being able to turn unhappiness into happiness . . .”
The encore song, “The Honest Truth,” is an example of this transformative power of Typhoon. Morton couldn’t help smiling as he sang it. The song made me stomp and sing, matching the beat of the trumpets with my steps. At the end of the song, the whole band joined in singing a triumphal chorus.
Morton spoke about a seemingly unreachable standard he set in his mind — to make a record of immense beauty — where he’d feel content to quit after he met that standard.
“I don’t know if I ever will but I was certainly aiming for it on this one,” Morton told The Point Weekly.
At times, Typhoon made me stop taking notes and snapping photos and enthralled me in their infectious community of music. If Morton didn’t eclipse that standard with this album, I don’t know how he could’ve come closer.