Classixx seemed like such a cool name for a band that I didn’t bother to look them up once before I went to the show. Well that turned out to be the best decision I have ever made because the surprise at their skill really made that half of the show for me. They consisted of a guitarist and piano/synth/computer player emulating some smooth wave/ electro groove funk that was insanely easy to dance to. They rotated between catchy songs with quick electro beats and popular songs like “Listomania” by Phoenix and “Hold On We Are Coming Home” by Drake. They had smiles on their faces the whole time and that Drake cover was pure fire. The beat would play and the lead singer would sing the chorus with a kind of effect on his voice and an electro pop added to the beat making it the same song, but almost a new one. That was their closer and it really hit home. As a direct result, I went home and listened to their latest album realizing they were a remix duo just now getting into making their own music. I was so impressed though, because normally remix groups are obnoxious at best and they were a genuinely good group full of energy and a fair amount of original music. Hearing a good opening band that I actually have the desire to go look up is rare and Classixx were one of those exceptions.
Toro y Moi though, was something else. You know when you just hear an infectious beat? Like, so infectious that your head is bobbing, your feet are tapping and your hands move restlessly sometimes beating out the beat on your chest or snapping along or something. Its like a disease or taxes, it just can’t be avoided. Well. That’s exactly the kind of music Toro y Moi creates and hearing it live made it one million times better.
Groovy music, catchy music, really any kind of music that attempts to be dance music strives to make listeners do these things and more and let me put it this way, Toro y Moi does his job perfectly. It was quite literally impossible to stay still during the entirety of his show as he played through songs full of insanely marvelous bass, illuminating synth and meticulous guitar playing all backed by quick paced but firm drum patterns played out without a care in the world.
I could not stop my body from dancing and every time I recognized a song, I felt the need to move faster and dance more enthusiastically than I already was. It got to the point of the show where I was almost becoming a danger to others and myself around me as I flailed my arms, wiggled my hips and constantly felt the need to jump up and down. I could feel someone videotaping me making a fool of myself but I didn’t mind I just hoped I turned into a great vine. I never regretted my dancing for a second (not that I could have physically stopped myself even if I had wanted to) and this sweet couple in front me were dancing just as emotionally and I really fed off their energy as well. I felt like I was at a huge dance party and that only the three of us understood the assignment. Other people around me were moving to be sure, but not nearly as aggressively as the couple and I were.
I had been a little worried going into the show I would not know enough or would not really know how to act but that fear was quickly erased the minute the first note was played. Originally I could not get myself into the album when listening to it at home but hearing it live just did something for me. Maybe it was the fact that I was able to dance freely or maybe it was the fact that the bass was so loud and powerful and moving. Either way something about the live show struck a chord with me and now “Anything in Return” means a helluva lot more to me and I can hear the hidden intricacies and understand what Toro y Moi was going for now much clearer. I worked up quite the sweat dancing my butt off and the sense of joy from Toro y Moi watching us all shake our booty’s radiated out to the crowd. He was so cute with his afro and sheepish way he talked to the crowd, especially the way he thanked them for showing support. He really seemed to be genuinely pleased that there was so much love for him.
Towards the end, I realized I was in position to attempt to get the setlist off the nearest speaker to me because I was literally right in the first row, leaning on the stage whenever I needed a break. I quickly began making sure no one around me would try but as soon as I started scoping things out, a girl in the middle of the crowd asked Toro y Moi for a set list and once another girl, this one to my left observed that interaction she immediately ripped off the setlist that I was looking at. At first I was almost furious, but then I remembered where I was and what I was listening to and I relaxed, kept dancing, and when Toro y Moi left the stage for the last time that night he grabbed my hand, and only my hand as he walked along stage high fiving. I felt like that was his way of letting me know he appreciated my energy the most out of anyone.