The night was pure fever all around, with a seemingly endless line down the street, and the venue was nearly at full capacity. Concert-goers filled the upper deck of the venue as we all waited in collective anticipation. The rambunctious crowd helped set the tone, and the hall was filled with a dull roar as the awaiting voices clamored for what was to come. After a lengthy wait following the opening act, Wet, the lights flared to announce the headliner.
Toro y Moi and his backing band finally made their way onto the stage.
Toro y Moi’s skillful adoption of pop sensibilities was present throughout the set, becoming an incarnation of current stars in the vein of Drake and Justin Timberlake. The artist has evolved to become an indie pop messiah, taking on a sound that more closely emulates the current pop era, a far cry from the days of lofi, chillwave bedroom recordings that he was once known for. The live performance stripped down the purely electronic and hip-hop influenced feel of the album and made present the funk foundation that characterized earlier releases. Chaz took the stage like a defined star, pacing the stage with the mix and delivery of his lines to an adoring fan base. At each stage blackout, the crowd roared for more, and the band delivered.
Toro y Moi’s new sound is characterized by funk bass lines and pulsating disco rhythms that force the audience to uncontrollably move to the ephemeral noise. The live performance showcased aspects of legacy funk, interrupted by contemporary pop ballads that dig into the groove, bringing the crowd with it. The fans frantically danced to the rhythms, as if being guided through the medley of 808 rhythms, synth-driven interludes and illicit bass lines. The vibe had been formed decisively and without protest.
As the night went on, the songs became more energetic and biting in their excitement and relevance, with bobbing fan girls and fan boys screaming their approval into the void. The theatre would ring with the delayed echoes of the diehard fans who knew every word of the choruses and wore it proudly. Around me, every other guy was throwing up hand gestures, as if by making the right configuration drake would miraculously appear.
Throwback classic “Rose Quartz” brought the night to a ceremonious end. Even after the band had left the stage, the crowd continued to party, forming a dance pit in the middle of the venue as the crowd gradually dispersed. In the end, Toro y Moi delivered a sense of familiarity all while providing the necessary pop edge. The combination satisfied and entertained the artist’s growing and devoted fan base, who are all just, in the end, looking to have a good time.