Show Review: Toro y Moi @ the Mohawk (10/8)
What? You don’t like ridiculously sold out shows with great tunes? Well, that’s unfortunate, as that means you probably missed the mostly excellent show at Mohawk this last weekend. Read a bit more for my thoughts and some great pics. Aside from the rain of the day, there was another damper on the evening, which we learned of as soon as we strolled into the venue: Unknown Mortal Orchestra would not be playing. An unfortunate event dealing with a malfunctioning tour van forced them to cancel, so that sort of sucked, but for my enjoyment, I think we got an extended Bass Drum of Death set.
If all those fans of Toro y Moi had shown up early enough, then surely they got to witness the hair-fueled rock n’ roll of Bass Drum of Death. It’s a blend of furious garage noise and just good old fashioned rock. For those of us in attendance, the group more than lived up to their moniker. We pogoed like little kids, bouncing around in the crowd, as hair flung about all over the stage. It was a huge contrast in showmanship, at least in comparison to what we would all encounter later in the evening. For me, their energetic, sweat-drenched forty minutes definitely made my adventure to the venue worth it.
With time nearing for Chaz to take to the stage, the Mohawk seemed to swell, engorged with masses of people. I’d like to take issue with people showing up for only one band, but it’s not my money–still, shows are about experiencing the openers people! Anyways, you could tell that everyone was here for Toro y Moi, especially the younger crowd (I’ve never seen so many Xs at the Mohawk). The group, now more than a laptop, have earned themselves a bit of hipness, with two solid records to their name. Personally, I felt the overall performance, while not bad in the least, sort of makes the record’s sound that much better.
For starters, I think Chaz only came out from behind his electronic contraptions three times, total. I get it, he’s twiddling knobs, and it sounds good, but I want to be entertained. You combat that with vocals that came off far too quiet on the night, and already you’ve got a sub-par performance. I suppose it’s hard when you’re contrasting this with the early set by BDoD.
I’m not trying to be some sort of anti-masses hater, but I really enjoy the listening experience for Toro y Moi much more in the home setting. The beats just didn’t translate to the live setting as powerfully as they do with the home stereo, and while everyone in attendance really began to shake it, I wasn’t sure why. I guess this is the sort of show where I just need to be entertained or visually stimulated in some manner. For a dude that makes incredible records, right now he’s putting on “eh” shows.
More pics available over at the photo site…