Toro y Moi charmed screaming fans at a sold-out show Nov. 6 at the historic Thalia Hall (1807 S. Allport St.).
Chaz Bear — whose bilingual stage name is Toro y Moi — emerged in 2008 during the rise of the chillwave movement. His name comes from the Spanish word for “bull” and the French word for “me.” The artist, who began his career as a graphic designer, has since released five albums, with “Boo Boo” most recently released June 2017.
Chicago was the first stop on the “Outer Peace” tour, and Chaz, along with his touring partner Dizzy Fae, brought unparalleled energy to Thalia Hall. The concert served as a distraction to audience members who were stressed by the discussions surrounding Election Day. Rather than refreshing their phones for election updates, the audience was capturing the visceral atmosphere in the venue taking photos and videos.
“It’s going to be okay,” the artist encouraged the crowd. “It has to be.”
Dizzy Fae, a rising R&B artist, told audiences she couldn’t believe she was touring with Bear. The singer put on an electrifying performance, instilling a vibrant energy among audience members and setting the stage for Bear’s act.
Dizzy Fae’s setlist included a range of new and previously released music, including “Baby Pillz,” a song from “Free Form Mixtape” and “Lifestyle,” a single released in August.
Midway through her set, Dizzy Fae told the audience to turn up because “that’s what we’re here for.” The crowd did as she wished and remained turnt throughout the duration of the night.
After leaving the crowd in anticipation for over an hour, Chaz emerged on-stage to screaming fans donning his signature bucket hat. He and his band all wore black turtlenecks with black jeans — Chaz was the only one sporting a white denim jacket.
Gearing up to play his first song, audiences shouted their love for the artist. Chaz kicked off his set singing “Mirage” and “No Show” from “Boo Boo” and later sang songs from older albums “Anything in Return” (2013) and “Underneath the Pine” (2011).
Thalia Hall was illuminated with fuschia, violet and cerulean lights — adding an element to the concert only lights could. Chaz glowed in a hazy stream of colors and looked as if he stepped right off the cover of “Boo Boo.”
Chaz kept the audience on its toes performing a good mix of slower tunes such as “Girl Like You” and upbeat dance hits including “New Beat” and “Say That,” making the floorboards tremble underneath dancing concert-goers.
While many of Chaz’s songs are bops and bangers — creating the ideal environment for dancing — he didn’t take advantage of the stage space. The artist instead sang into the microphone and played synthesizers for the majority of his set. He busted a few dance moves throughout, yet he was more stand-still than not.
Despite his lack of dancing on-stage, Chaz captured the audiences’ hearts and vocal chords with his poetic lyrics and calm demeanor.
Toro y Moi can be heard on all streaming platforms. His newest album “Outer Peace” will be released Jan. 18.