Music

Review: Toro Y Moi Throws House of Vans An Art Show and Party

“Let’s have a party, Chicago!” From the moment people trickled into the House of Vans Warehouse upon opening, Chaz Bundick greeted fans with a smile and his charismatic presence. The skate park transformed into a visual experience brought to a next level art show through outstanding variations of classic house, french touch, disco, techno, and live liquid artwork.

Working his way onto the stage, Chaz moved in his gleeful and passionate manner, swaying side to side as he approached the decks. For my Chaz fans out there, you know the dance I am talking about, it is his signature. Alongside pianist and backup vocalist, Anthony Ferraro, of Toro Y Moi, Chaz transitioned into his set with a nostalgic opening to 90’s Friday night TV show, Family Matters’ theme song “As Days Go By,” by Jesse Frederick. The song had heads turning and smiling, throwing many into the nostalgia of their childhood. With a hot introduction, he followed up with a tease of Roy Ayers’ “Chicago,” not only acknowledging the city he was playing in but paying tribute to one of the original homes of house music.

Chaz’s set took everyone through a musical voyage of his influences and interests, teasing new material, and even throwing us back to his Les Sins project from Carpark Records. His ability to read the audience and direct the voyage of the night goes unmarked by many DJs or producers today. He exclaimed into his microphone, “I’m ready to go faster,” warning the crowd that the BPMs were going to kick up, and took things to a more substantial house feel – as if he already had not taken it there.

The music was only half of the show’s experience that evening; because it also included the visual artwork of Mad Alchemy Liquid Lites. Chaz’s ability to curate an evening of diverse dance music accompanied by live liquid artwork to backdrop the stage made for a “not so ordinary” DJ set. Colors of red, blue, yellow, and green meshed and circled to the various beats he mixed, sampled, and selected to keep everyone moving, head-bopping, and swaying. Then, the moment came…a beeping noise of familiarity blared through the speakers – and hundreds of hands went into the air. “We Found Love” by Rihanna had the crowd ecstatically screaming.

From start to finish, Chaz takes genuine care in fans, art, and curating an extraordinary artistic experience. The variations of Toro Y Moi’s discography alone show such work and curation. Chaz knows how to party, but most importantly, knows how Chicago likes to party.

All photos by Julian Ramirez

This review was written by guest author Michael Kocourek.

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