Tuesday evening: not the most popular night for the average show-goer. There was no lineup at the bar, just a few thirsty music lovers with room to drink comfortably. Naturally I found myself the darkest corner of the venue and settled in.
The first act, a six-piece group from Atlanta Georgia called Dog Bite, took the stage around 10 o’ clock. Their sound was tight and the lead singer’s vocals resembled an early ’90s grunge feel. He would draw out his words for long periods of time as if pulling them from his mouth like one long piece of tape.
As more people filtered in, Sinkane hit the stage. By now the atmosphere was gaining weight. The five-piece band from Columbus, OH, hit us hard, jumping into their set right away. It was as if they’d taken us to their jam space and were feeling notes out and playing for friends. Their tracks were long which caused mild confusion; I wasn’t sure where one song ended and another began. Nevertheless, I loved every minute of their long songs, and found myself not caring if it were a string of short ones or one long piece. Their set ended with the lead guitar playing one long sound from his voxbox. It was over, with one beautiful note leaving us wanting more.
Suddenly, the place was bustling, as if I had been in a heavy daze and just awoken to a busy bar. The swell of people picked me up and took me to the front of the stage. It was there we waited as the lights dimmed and Chazwick Bundick (a.k.a Toro y Moi) arrived onstage (it should be noted, that he officially has the coolest name in showbiz.) He placed himself between two keyboards (one for each hand) and was followed by the rest of his band. Without introduction, they jump into the “Rose Quartz” – the fourth track off Anything in Return, the album for which they’re currently touring. This song is great, although not danceable, and the crowd remained docile. It was obvious that the band was feeding off this energy and talking to each other while playing. No doubt asking, “What are we going to have to play to get these people moving?”
The brief silence was broken when they began to play “New Beat,” their most well-known song to date. This worked. The crowd awoke from their trance and began to show signs of life. By mid-set, the place was sweaty, bodies rocking side to side to the catchy beats that Toro y Moi provided. Chazwick later told the crowd that “Say That” will be the last song, which is an absolute banger of a song. The crowd was elated and the band rewarded us with an encore, ending the night with “How’s it Wrong.”
It would be wrong to not have a good time at a Toro y Moi show. All you Tuesday night nay-sayers would sing a different tune if you had joined us.
By Brandon Houston
Photos: Sarah Whitlam