SHOW REVIEW: Toro y Moi at El Rey

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It was a Monday night. I’d like to think I’m a responsible student. I rarely go out on school nights; heck, I would never just drive into LA to go to a concert. But on Monday, October 3rd, I did just that–specifically, to see Toro y Moi. My friends and I got in line about a half hour before the doors opened. To our surprise, the man of the hour himself, Chaz Bundick (better known by his stage name, Toro y Moi) casually walked by with the band. The people waiting in line, ourselves included, started applauding and before he rounded the corner to the stage entrance, Chaz turned and waved excitedly at his fans.

Toro had two openers this evening, and all three bands displayed an extreme variety of music. Bass Drum of Death, the first of the lineup, made me feel like I was in some grungy yet totally hip basement listening to cutting-edge garage-band rock. These guys have the energy, sound, and extremely long hair to match that image. For a small-town band from Mississippi, Bass Drum certainly kicked off the night with high-impact rock to get the crowd ready for a Monday night of music.

Next up was Unknown Mortal Orchestra, hailing from New Zealand. Though they had been quite unknown only last year, having only released their first single “Funny Ffrends” in late 2010, UMO has lately been turning heads in the indie scene. I had not heard of them myself before going to the show, but other people in the audience certainly had. Their fans were going wild to this trio’s retro-influenced tunes infused with skillful guitar solos and pop-esque vocals.

Finally, Toro y Moi took the stage. The energy of the crowd sky-rocketed as Chaz started a dance party at the El Rey. The audience loved him, and all knew the words to his newest songs from Freaking Out, his most recent EP. Psychedelic slow-moving shapes played behind the band as they rocked out with the crowd for an hour straight. Chaz was in love with our energy and frequently told us “You guys are so great!” His tweet post-show summarized the night: “LA, THAT WAS EPIC. I CANNOT THANK U ENOUGH. LUV YALL.”

I highly recommend Toro y Moi’s new EP, Freaking Out. Get your dance on, because this kid’s definitely got the groove.

Review by Rachel Fidler.

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