For an evening with bands as elephantine as Typhoon and as prodigious as The Decemberists, it takes a roomy review to cover it all. ---
To begin the second Twilight Concert Series concert of 2011, Typhoon, the indie rock orchestra from Portland, Oreg., took the stage with a request: “Does anyone have a cello we can borrow?” Theirs broke literally a minute before taking the stage. Luckily, with 12 other musicians, their sound was anything but lacking because of it.
After the opening song, they rolled into one of the finer numbers from their smallish catalog, “CPR-Claws, Pt. 2,” off of the 2010 full-length release Hunger & Thirst. They extended it live into a 10-plus minute opus. As the opening songs lingered on, the stagefront lawn begin to fill in, with folks paying respect and attention to the at-times delicate songs. In what every music journalist loves, I discovered Typhoon at Musicfest Northwest last fall, where they were playing for 30 locals at a party. To see them break big and play to so many respectful fans was gratifying.
The frontman, Kyle Morton, then sang an unrecorded song that diverged from their typically restrained, subtle—which is an adjective I don’t often use for a 13-piece band—sound with high-energy, bombastic orchestration. Other highlights of the short set included “Belly of the Cave” and “The Honest Truth,” off of their latest, excellent release A New Kind of House. To read more about Typhoon, check out our interview here.