all words: Robb Scott
all photos: Franz Mahr
Enter the psychedelic den of Toro y Moi — okay, maybe psychedelic is a stretch, but what else do you call the mood heavy ambiance of Sunday night’s Black Cat performance. Returning to the 14th street venue after a year and a half, the South Carolina based act treated fans young and somewhat older to their flavor of chill wave.
After a pretty lackluster start from Coma Cinema (the guy seemed to have missed the memo that the self-deprecating thing is no longer appealing — maybe it was the drugs: “buy our merch… if you like giving your money to drug addicts”) and a delightfully more inspired set by Unknown Mortal Orchestra (the tunnel vocals were perfect, not to mention the lead guitarist’s energy), the kaleidoscope of sound that is Toro y Moi took the stage — phew, that was a lot.
The room got dim, glowed a deep red, and an amoeba like graphic appeared in the space behind the band. Mix these elements with the no-fuss appearance of Toro y Moi (the collective, not just the darling in the glasses) and you have a performance that is just simply about the music and the emotions it makes you feel.
This is how a live-set should be: band and audience, on the same wave length, together participating in a singular sonic experience. Toro y Moi took what they do best in the studio, married it with the spontaneity of the stage, and produced a set which was truly organic in nature.
Playing through their two studio albums, demos, and their newest EP Freaking Out, despite the evolution of style their music has taken, there existed a cohesion that blurred the distinctions of genres. From “How I Know” to “Blessa” and “Deep Routes” to “Freaking Out” — the party just rolled on through without as much as a breath mark. There was not a missed opportunity with their set; while it may have been short (even with an encore) it left all in attendance wanting more, but not in an unfulfilled sort of way.
Toro y Moi (not the collective, but the darling in the glasses) had such a humbling demeanor; bringing smile to the faces of many. He not only remembered, but gave special recognition to the fact that almost two years ago, he was playing the backstage, but now selling out on the main stage — his appreciation for his following is awesome. With that being said, definitely make your way on over to Spotify and/or iTunes to please your earlobes with this man’s music — and give him a reason to keep making more of it. Oh, and in case you missed it, Julian Vu sat down with the music man Chaz Bundick for an interview, check it out.