Toro y Moi – Terminal 5 – October 23, 2013
Almost exactly one month after friend and fellow synth-pop artist Ernest Greene (Washed Out) headlined the same smoky room, Chaz Bundick, aka Toro y Moi, packed Terminal 5 last night for a colorful dance party. For well over an hour, Bundick and his four-piece backing band churned out lush dance tune after tune. After three albums and almost half of a decade of making music, his show has grown diverse, with slow grooves like “High Living” and balancing out the bouncier numbers, like “Low Shoulder.”
And while Bundick’s music has been dance-worthy since he began releasing it a few years ago, his band rounds out the sound and helps keep the energy flowing better than just one man can in a big room. However, the crowd wasn’t solely focused on dancing. If anything else has become apparent at Toro y Moi’s shows, it’s that Bundick has gained quite a following. Between each song the silence was buoyed by shouts of all sorts of variations on “I love you Chaz!” Bundick does certainly seem like an easy guy to like, either for his heady falsetto voice that matches his musical style oh, so well, or for his synthesizer mastery (watching him tap out parts of his songs with his eyes closed is something else).
There were moments when Bundick even broke out of his shell behind the keyboards, as he grabbed the microphone and started to wander a bit to his left or right as he sang, but he never went more than a few paces before he returned to his instruments. Those hints of a true frontman presence teased just how much more there is to come from Toro y Moi, promise that will almost certainly be delivered on when he returns to fill another room with even more adoring fans looking to dance. —Sean O’Kane