The easy evolution of Chazwick Bundick's sound made perfect sense last night, as the Toro Y Moi mastermind played for a sold-out crowd at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg. Dressed impeccably in a tucked-in white button down and spectacles, Chaz, along with his four-man band, were riding the wave of critical adoration that has met Toro's sophomore album Underneath The Pine. The days when Toro's live show consisted of one man juggling a laptop, keyboard, and guitar could not have seemed more distant—in fact, there wasn't even a laptop on stage. The band's fully fleshed-out funk was so tightly-wound that even the most ardent hater of the so-called "chillwave" couldn't help but move their feet.
The night opened with a bang, thanks to the Canadian crew Braids, and Toro's fellow Carpark Records act Adventure, who bounced through their set of synth-pop sing-alongs that hark back to bright-eyed ’80s staples like Human League. But the adoring crowd was clearly there for Toro, and from the opening sounds of "New Beat," they seemed enrapt.
Transitioning from the sample-based sounds of his debut Causers of This into his new live band aesthetic could have easily resulted into a less robust sound (as it so often does), but Chaz and company were able to reproduce the cleaner sounds of the studio sessions with shocking precision. The set was centered mostly around songs from the new album, like the standout "Still Sound," but even some fan favorites from his debut ( "Talamak") sounded right at home in the new format. Chaz stopped the dreamy dance party only briefly near the end, thanking the crowd in his famously humble, soft-spoken style, before finishing off with a brief encore. After seeing the impressive transition his live show has made in just a year's time, Toro Y Moi might be ready to rock an arena by 2012.