Toro y Moi Are Sweaty, Good Fun at Brooklyn Mirage

Toro y Moi Are Sweaty, Good Fun at Brooklyn Mirage

July 20, 2022

Toro y Moi – Brooklyn Mirage – July 19, 2022

It’s 85 degrees and just past 10 p.m. on Tuesday. Brooklyn Mirage is packed, and it feels like you’re on another planet. “Let’s keep the party going,” says Chaz Bear, the brains of Toro y Moi, the dance-meets-psych-rock-meets-chillwave ensemble at the center of Aughts indie-pop innovation. Yeah, let’s do that. Bear is a sound savant and a genre tactician. He is unafraid to bring together East Bay beats and West Coast jam with funk and house. And what he makes sparkles.

Last night, he amassed quite the crowd — who commendably stuck it out through a scary-hot night — for the tour following the release of this year’s Mahal, an exploratory and deeply fun album (and Toro y Moi’s first since 2019’s Outer Peace). Backed by three bandmates, he switched from disco and tantalizing high hat on Mahal’s “Millennium” to clubby samples on “Say That” (Anything in Return, 2013) to trap-like staccato on Outer Peace’s “Monte Carlo,” created with Kelly Zutrau of Wet, and one of his many collaborative tracks. Like another song from last night, “The Difference,” with electronic artist Flume and featuring a chorus of Bear’s sing-song ooohing.

Several tracks hit big: “Ordinary Pleasure” and the squishy, beat-driven “Freelance,” both off Outer Peace, and Girl Like You,” a pop love song off 2017’s Boo Boo, got many a couple swaying. Bear is a true musical omnivore with a twinkle in his eye. He’s not above being a goof, doing cheesy dance moves and singing about the gut punch of getting snail mail that’s, alas, only bills. “Mr. Postman / Did I get mail? / Did I get a letter?” he sang Tuesday night.  Sadly, the show had to end, and I did not get my admittedly wildly lofty dream of an encore by Bear as Les Sins, his incredible dance side project. No matter. I still worked up a sweat (shout-out to humidity), and it was an absolute blast. —Rachel Brody | @RachelCBrody

Photos courtesy of Maggie V. Miles | @Maggievmiles

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