Toro Y Moi Gets Everything in Return from a Young Vogue Crowd

Toro Y Moi

Walk into The Vogue. Two drinks for $32.00. Down the aisle to stage right. Shit there’s a lot of people. Wow. Wait. Hold the phone – is this an ALL AGES SHOW?. I scan the 5’8” crowd, freshly draped in Aritzia and Levi’s, seems everyone’s present at 8:00 because the ticket said “Doors at 8:00”. I sit down to shift gears and gain perspective. Realistically, some of these kids are losing their virginity tonight to Toro Y Moi – welcome to the world of live music.

All tables and dance moves, the opener Classixx met the young crowd like a wash of fresh sea water. These boys are stylish, fun, and the raw definition of new wave electronic dance music. Los Angeles DJ/producers Tyler Blake and Michael David mixed originals with remixes triggering myself and the room into a feel-good dance ecstasy. While absolutely killing a Phoenix remix I caught a shared shit-eating grin off Blake and David – they must be enjoying this as much as we are.

This duo is going places, a positive transition from production to creation. Interesting beats bent into ear-pleasing, disco-stylized, electronic dance bliss. Being that there were only two dudes on stage and minimal lights and stimuli, it’s shocking how badass this live performance was… Man, Blake can move. If you weren’t having fun you were doing something wrong. It was gold.

If you’re even a lick like me then you were asking why, of all the rad original pieces, did they only sing Drake live? Well, riddle me this. As I wandered to the bar to have my wallet pillaged, I met Blake and he explained that, having tried singing lead, he felt he couldn’t do it justice, having not been the vocalist on the tracks. Also, expressing that they were limited being a two-piece opener, he assured me they plan to have more band mates in the future to fill the gaps. Ask me if I’ll be at the next Classixx show and when I’m done berating you for asking such a dumb question, I’ll tell you – I’ll be there in my dancing shoes.

With pals like Washed out, Caribou, and Grizzly Bear, one can expect a particular feeling at a Toro Y Moi show. I know they’ve said they’ve transgressed from chillwave but the undertones still had a heavy stream-of-consciousness feel. The light show was fitting but nothing to write home about. That said, the vibe was good and the folks were down. The great thing about an all ages show is that sitting is almost unacceptable and the standing room was jammed with dancers.

Lyrically, there’s not much to talk about; Bundick himself says he’s a bad lyricist. I wouldn’t go so far, but I would say they were consistent, appropriate, and largely washed out by the heavy musicality. Looking around, there wasn’t a soul singing along which had me wondering if anyone even knew or cared to know the lyrics. Although frankly, the melodic and mesmerizing riffs were interesting enough to carry, or at least balance the sound.

Considering Bundick defines ‘pop’ literally as ‘popular music’, I think he achieved the desired result: a room stacked with teenage jump-dancers thinking every song was the greatest dance hit of all time. This album attracted just the right amount of attention to pack the Vogue with the young and beautiful. It’s too bad for them that there won’t be another album like Anything In Return [review] again, as states Bundick in a Pitchfork interview. Regardless, at a show like this, there’s nothing you can do but back-dive into a pool of young lovers – which, let’s be honest, isn’t a bad way to spend an evening.