Toro Y Moi fans trickled into Fitzgerald’s Monday evening as doors opened, letting in people waiting to seize front row spots for a sold out show in Houston. In recent years, Toro Y Moi’s popularity has risen to new heights adding to the wave of new age music that can easily morph into many genres such as chillwave, live instrumentation and even R&B. Chazwick Bradley Bundick is the man behind the Toro Y Moi name, a recording artist and producer who twists these genres into one of his own that changes from album to album.
Keath Mead was the sole opener for Toro Y Moi and came on stage, after a 30-minute delay for unknown reasons, to warm the crowd up with music from their freshmen album that was released earlier this year. Their performance started off with “Holiday” and carried on through to songs such as “Settle For Less.” You get the feeling you’re watching a classic soft-rock band from the 70’s when observing this band, especially with a backdrop of spinning colors and long, shaggy hair. Overall, the performance was well-done but didn’t carry much heart and soul as the band mates played their instruments seemingly stiffened by apathy which was slightly thawed out by the lead singer’s attempt to keep the crowd awake throughout the set.
Fifteen minutes later, Toro Y Moi’s set was put into place and Chaz glided in barefoot and modestly stood at his keyboard on the right side allowing his band to take most of the stage. Chaz’s corner included his keyboard, microphone and electric guitar that he would interchangeably use throughout the performance while the rest of the band took care of the drums, bass guitar, and backup keyboard and vocals. The atmosphere changed when Chaz and his band mates walked onto stage with powerful strides straight to their positions, ready to show Houston a good time.
The crowd went wild as Toro Y Moi sprinkled in old familiar songs such as “High Living”, “Rose Quartz” and “So Many Details” that were energetically given a new dimension of sound with the use of a live band. Typically, Toro Y Moi plays a live DJ set but due to the new direction from his new album What For? a live band was deemed appropriate. The crowd swayed and rocked to newer songs such as “Campo,” “Buffalo,” and “Lilly” that sounded impeccable with the percussion and bass intertwining. As the show went on, the air grew thick with hot moisture from the jam-packed venue as the crowd danced away to a stellar performance full of energy and soul that could be seen to almost perspire out of the band’s skin as their shirts became soaked in sweat.
The performance was a shocking 20-song set that lasted about an hour and a half that left the crowd drenched in sweat with throbbing feet but also with an immense satisfaction. Chaz at one point even said that he didn’t realize Texas was so much fun and also congratulated the Houston Rockets on their win Sunday which made the crowd roar in unified pride.
As the show neared it’s end, Toro Y Moi thanked the crowd and walked off stage but no one was ready for the show to be over. The audience chanted “Toto Y Moi!” begging to just see at least one more song and Toro Y Moi walked back on stage to rock the venue out with a popular throwback, “Say That.” The audience went ballistic and a sea of fans bobbed up and down to an epic encore done by Chaz and his band. Only a live performance can give Toro Y Moi full justice on the whole musical experience that every one should be a part of and that’s the beauty of Toro Y Moi and his multi-genre influenced music; anyone and everyone can pin-point an attraction to his music and appreciate his talent.
By Hazel Ramos