Toro Y Moy with Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Bass Drum of Death

Returning back to Fitzgerald’s was an experience which personally shook me a bit because the last time I was there was to see White Lies. It rained harshly on Sunday making the hopes for attendance of the show not appear in its favor, but after a while it the rain ended making way for an audience to attend. Being at Fitz, there is the expectation of a cheap show in a semi run down venue, which at times seems like the ideal place to be. The lighting is minimal and the actual main stage, is located upstairs, gives the reminder of the older 70’s and 80’s venues. A worn down and antique of a candelabra hung from the middle of the ceiling covered in spider webs began dimming. With that the background music seized to play and the opening band came on stage.

Bass Drum of Death though giving the heavy metal impression is actually more of a pop punk band. They have the common attributes of that genre with repetitive drum beats and a lack of changing in chords in the main guitar. The three piece band composed of fairly young musicians mainly abused the repetition of its rhythm, which did carry the songs through, but only barley. At first fans of this genre admired the band and moved along to the beats, but after a while they grew weary of the similar style, which is when the band changed its chords a bit but still kept repeating those chords until the crowd grew impatient again. Though the music is senseless, it is senseless in a way that can make you tap your foot for a bit and entertain you for a few beats, but other than a few beats, it was too repetitive and lacked the experience and tone to compete in a higher circle of music.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra is another three piece band, this time with the band being from New Zealand, they played in a style which is contrary to that of the opening act. They had no one specific genre, pleasing everyone in the audience at least once. They jumped from shoe-gazer to indie, to pop, to punk, to rock and did it in a way that made it not sound too out of place when they switched genres. In the end though genres exist only to be able to catalog albums at stores, and it should be solely about the music, but let us save that discussion for another blog. Though they sound very well founded and have great music, their lyrics have no meaning, which in this instance works because their music is made to be catchy. The rhythm and the bass of the band were propelling and did not just make the song flow but it made it transition well with the next song and complete the song they were currently playing. It sounded will live and listening to their album does not justify their actual performance. The album is mellower than the actual bands live performance, and lacks the charisma and energy that they present when on stage.

Toro Y Moi, a group from South Carolina, has a distinct sound which has no one genre specifically. If you listen carefully throughout their albums, there are miniscule glimpses into influences, but not one outweighs the other, giving the perfect balance to their recordings.  With them having canceled their appearance at Fitz earlier this year, the fans were excited and anxious for the band to play. As the instruments began to play bodies began moving almost instantaneously. The songs were mainly from their new album, “Underneath the Pine,” which is not my personally preferred album. With the expectation of hearing mainly, “Cause of This,” which is the group’s first album I felt a bit cheated when the majority of the songs were not from this album. Aside from the fact that my prefer songs were not played, the show made everyone dance and move to the jazzy scene that the mix of the synth, bass, and drums created for the listeners. There was no lack of enthusiasm at any point from neither the band nor the crowd making the scene that much better and profound to the mixes and rhythm the band produced.  The set list was well organized giving the true fans exactly what they wanted whilst promoting their new album to the people who attended merely checking out the band. While the band played the projector ran a red background which looked like a lava lamp making the music resonate more of that seventies and eighties feel to it.

Overall the music was great from the headliners as well as from one of the opening bands. This group is not one in which you should pine and follow to an obsessive amount, but they are definitely worth seeing live. Their music and their performance does reflect on what feelings they are trying to portray, whether it be calm and relaxing or upbeat and groovy, they know how to control and move the audience while keeping their composure.

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