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Mace & Crown | February 20, 2018

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Toro y Moi Rages in Richmond

Toro y Moi Rages in Richmond

Rich Gabrintina
Contributing Writer

Despite the impending danger of Hurricane Joaquin, Toro y Moi along with opening band Astronauts, etc. packed the house at The National in Richmond, Virginia, on Saturday, Oct. 3.

Astronauts, etc., the music project led by frontman Anthony Ferraro — touring band member of Toro y Moi — created a sensual atmosphere with their brand of indie rock music organically blended with elements of psychedelia and funk, incorporating the sounds of a synth, keyboard, drums, electric and bass guitars. Astronauts, etc. motivated movement from the crowd with each song, with Ferraro’s smooth voice pulling the strings of a swaying audience.

While there were a few technical difficulties with equipment, Ferraro playfully informed listeners that they were not expecting any special effects in their performance, though the audience did not seem to mind. Near the end of their set, they performed a cover of Elton John’s “Rocket Man.” The set closed off with “Fuss” and a sincere thank you and shout out to Richmond from Ferraro.

After the lights blacked out, setup began for Toro y Moi. After several minutes, the crowd began to shout “Chaz, Chaz, Chaz!” Soon enough, Toro y Moi frontman, guitarist, and songwriter, a barefoot Chaz Bundick casually appeared in front of the crowd with a soft smile and hello.

Silhouetted against a colorful, optical illusionary backdrop, Toro y Moi delivered an energetic performance. They played a set comprised of select songs from each album, ranging from “Causers of This” up to his most recently released indie pop imbued album “What For?

Toro y Moi’s sound isn’t exclusive to a single genre. Instead, it encompasses different territories, drawing inspiration from several genres and throughout different eras of music, ultimately cultivating his unique sound. Toro y Moi is often credited by bloggers for pioneering the chillwave movement, but as Bundick evolved musically, he gravitated away from the electronic sounds of his laptop and keyboard to his guitar.

The set opened up with a lively performance of “Empty Nesters” and immediately got the crowd going. One notable performance included “So Many Details” off of the album “Anything In Return,” which ignited the crowd, causing them to jump up and down as they sang along.

Another standout song was “Still Sound,” delivering the same energy as “So Many Details” with its heavy, funky bass lines generating movement from the audience as everyone danced the entirety of the song.

Throughout the whole set, the energy shifted with each song, bouncing back and forth between casual and laid-back grooves to intensive guitar shredding. Towards the end of the set, the band took a quick break, and was immediately invited back on as the whole venue was stomping, clapping, and chanting, “One more song!”

Immediately after the band reemerged, Bundick, in his soft speaking voice, thanked Richmond and told the audience he would see them again soon. “Yeah Right” was an appropriately intimate closing song to the night. It brought the energy back down in a full circle, with the lyrics reminding everyone, “I’ll be around” and “Never gonna say goodbye, girl.”

A huge crowd surrounded the merchandise table at the doors of The National as several items began to sell out. The venue began to clear out, but everybody still wore a smile and talked about the performance, the aftereffect of a successful show.