October 11th, 2011

Loopster Live: Toro y Moi at Fitzgerald’s

“What’s this?”

That question from my girlfriend usually means one thing, she likes whatever music happens to be coming out of my car stereo. It’s a little game we play. I try to impress her with my library. I rarely win.

“It’s Toro y Moi. They’re playing tonight,” I told her. “Do you want to go?”

“Not really.”

It’s my own fault. You see, my library does not include Toro y Moi’s second effort, Underneath the Pine. By all accounts (read: according to my friends), it’s much better than Chazwick Bundick’s first album, Causers of This, which is more of an acquired taste. The concert, however, was something for everyone.

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Everyone on the first floor of Fitz was in motion as Toro y Moi cranked through their set, flying through song to song with a lava lamp projection playing against the back of the stage and upon the band members. Everything centered upon flow and I suppose it all lived up to the notion of “chillwave” as a genre.

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Which brings up an interesting point: Are we allowed to just smash two or three words together to create a new music genre? Discuss…

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All in all, Toro y Moi made up for lost time. After the no-show earlier in the year, they are back in Houston’s good graces. Though, we couldn’t have been mad because of that. The absence did allow the spotlight to be shown on a few other acts we might have missed.

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It wasn’t the technical savvy on stage, but the ability of Chazwick to infuse the crowd with the energy of his music that made the night so memorable. It was a dance-along or a gaze-in-wonder-along, not a sing-along kind of show. It was the kind of show that made me wish I had that second album spinning in my car on Sunday morning, because my girlfriend missed out.

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Note: Unknown Mortal Orchestra was the second opener of the night and the first photographed. The biggest surprise with them was the fact that it wasn’t a female lead. The vocals on everything I had listened to online before the show were at least androgynous. Not doing my homework should be something you’ve come to expect from me.

— Paul

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