Live Review: Kyle Morton at The Old Church 1/06/17

Kyle Morton

All photos by Kauri Marie Productions

Words: Liz Garcia

Folk artist Kyle Morton made it home to Portland to play a sold out show at The Old Church Friday night, presented by Mississippi Studios. The Typhoon frontman gave a very intimate performance that had the feel of a jam session with friends. Morton released his solo debut What Will Destroy You in September.

The night rolled on with opening folk act Snowblind Traveler. Their set was comprised of tracks from Confederate Burial and Lost On the North Hills as well as some new music, such as “The Sun In December.” Matt Dorrien switched between guitar and piano throughout the show. They had produced a cordial ambiance in the church-room venue by the end of their set.

Kyle Morton

When Morton came on stage solo and started off with one of his more obscure songs. Instantly creating a stillness in the room and then filling it with the energy of his raw yet refined voice and fingerpicking style.

After finishing his opening song Morton mentioned that the next Typhoon record was almost finished, a statement the crowd received with much excitement.

Morton poked fun at himself a bit, commenting that one would not guess he has a sense of humor by his somber lyrics, then brightened up the mood with “Innuendos.” A somewhat PG-13 song which Morton joking commented himself but, nonetheless a fun and jovial tune that moved the crowd.

While stalling for the accompanying vocalist Morton took the time to share with a crowd a child’s painting that had been hanging in the venue, captioned “There is a Summer,” that had caught his attention. Mid show Morton took the time to thank everyone for coming out and Mississippi Studios for presenting the show.

Fans of Typhoon and Morton came out for his solo show but were met with an unexpected surprise when members of Typhoon walked up onto the stage. The energy in the room elevated instantly and the crowd was ecstatic as they joined Morton in playing “Automatic.” They remained up on stage for a few more songs, including “Prosthetic Love” before saying goodnight to the audience.

Kyle Morton Morton gravitated his energy to the piano for “What Will Save You” joined by Alex Fitch on drums and Eric Stipe on trumpet. 

Things slowed down with cordial and ballad-like “Survivalist Fantasy.” Mid-song was a duet between Morton’s fingerpicking and Shannon Steele on violin, who was also on for accompanying vocals. Definitely one of the most beautiful songs on What Will Destroy You, lyrically and instrumentally.  Morton then thanked the crowd and walked off stage. The audience clapped and waited until he returned for a couple more songs.

If “Automatic” was the climax of the show, then “The Sickness Unto Death” was the resolution. Morton took it back to a somber tone with the track from Typhoon’s 2010 Hunger and Thirst. During this song Morton’s less-is-more style shined the most. You could feel the intensity and when he sang the line “eternity will smile upon me” he appeared to almost be looking off into eternity.Kyle Morton

The night ended with Morton closing with the Typhoon hit “CPR/Claws Pt.2.”  Much like on his album What Will Destroy You the instrumentation was toned down for most of the show. Mainly Morton on guitar with Shannon Steele on violin and accompanying vocals.

Morton has an uncommon way of presenting somber lyrics filled with relatable and humorous truths to listeners. You can listen, laugh, take it in and leave. But even after his words linger in your mind.

Kyle Morton

Kyle Morton

Kyle Morton

Kyle Morton

Snowblind Traveler

Snowblind Traveler

All photos by Kauri Marie Productions

Facebook: Kauri Marie Productions

Instagram: @kaurimarie

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