Thursday, March 31, 2011

Concert Review: Toro Y Moi

Posted By on March 31, 2011, 12:42 PM

I swear I took notes at last night’s Toro Y Moi show at the Urban Lounge. I just can’t decipher them. ---

Maybe I was shaking it too hard. Maybe the gin and tonics were starting to kick in. Either way, nearly everything I wrote down at the show is completely illegible. Never fear, however: your faithful reporter remembers almost everything.

Baltimore’s Adventure got the evening off to a dance-y, electro-pop start with their ’80’s throwback sound. They were a great opener for Toro Y Moi: high-energy with a similar-enough sound that the pairing makes sense, but different enough that you’re not watching the same band twice.

Toro Y Moi, the brainchild of Chaz Bundick, is alternately referred to as “chillwave” or “chillcore” in various places on the interwebs. This show, in my mind, puts Toro Y Moi’s sound solidly in a category of its own. The evening was dominated by Bundick’s insanely groovy synth riffs and spacey vocals (though these could have been, and probably should have been, much louder), which kept us dancing, or at least head-bobbing, till midnight.

While Toro Y Moi is, technically speaking, just Bundick, the tour has Toro bringing friends (guitarist Jordan Blackmon, bassist Patrick Jeffords and drummer Andy Woodward) along for the ride. This is great, because as brilliant as Bundick is, he probably would have hard time recreating the lush, complex sounds of the albums all on his own.

Toro’s set started off slow and relaxed, but soon launched into the awesomely funky “New Beat” from February’s Underneath the Pine. With a few exceptions, the night kept the soul-inspired grooves coming, mostly off the latest album. I even found myself dancing to the slower tracks like “Talamak.” Eminently danceable “Still Sound” and “Low Shoulder” were the highlights of my very merry Wednesday evening.

“Blessa,” a personal favorite from 2010’s The Causers of This ended the night. The show ended relatively early, but it’s hard to hold it against the group. From what I understand, touring is tiring, and they’d played my adopted hometown of Vancouver, BC a mere two days ago. I’ve done that drive a few times, and it usually takes me three days. Good job, guys. Now get some rest and keep those soulful beats coming.

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