This year, San Francisco’s Annual Music Festival, Noise Pop, finally reached it’s legal drinking age. The festival, which is celebrating its 21st year and anniversary, has been responsible for introducing and exposing hundreds of music fans to some of their favorite artists. In the early years, the festival has featured headliners like: The Fastbacks, Corduroy, Creeper Lagoon, Magic Paper and etc. In recent years, the festival has brought out artists like: Rogue Wave, Far, Zee Avi and more. For this year’s festival, the lineup included an eclectic roster of artists from Nosaj Thing, Jason Lyttle, Ramona Falls, XXYYXX and the well-liked and buzzed about group Toro Y Moi.
Like the eclectic artists performing at the shows, the music-loving crowd at San Francisco’s The Independent, was equally as diverse. The sold-out crowd was an eclectic blend of hipster kids in sandals, boots, and flannels, flirty girls in short dresses, shorts and tights, as well as sneaker loving kids in SB Dunks, Jordans and jeans. It should also be mentioned that the diverse audience at the show was also very friendly. When they walked past you they said excuse me, or if they were in your way they would ask “Can you see? Tell me if I’m blocking your view” -- things that should be common courtesy, but sadly are not at all.
The show was opened by three acts, the first was the local band, DRMS (pronounced Dreams). The band came to the stage while many were still trekking in so they played to a very minimal crowd, however, gave a great performance gaining new fans (I purchased their album via Itunes while they were still performing) in the process. The band which featured a female vocalist who had a Kimbra-esque vibe, as well as three male players -- even a Xylophone player, had a pretty interesting sound. The band blended together a unique fusion of Soul, Hip-Hop at times, Jazz, Indie Rock, and Dream Pop. They gave a great performance, and good thing they are local. They will have a show April 27th at Bottom of The Hill. You can also purchase their self-titled debut album for $9.99 via ITunes -- great investment.
The next opening act was Dog Bite from Atlanta Georgia. The band had a lead singer who at first, when entering the stage, you couldn’t really hear him as the bands power overshadowed him -- that was a good thing. His voice, was a little annoying as he didn’t really have a defined tone-- it was a little deep, tone-deaf and best suited for shower singing. The band without his vocals was very good allowing the crowd to know why they are a favorite of Toro Y Moi. They have a very 90’s grunge, coastal Surf Pop vibe that would be perfect for both a sunny day, or a chill evening. The last opening act was Brooklyn based group, Sinkane. The group entered the stage with two songs that sounded very blues-like. As their set progressed, the group started infusing a Reggae like vibe within some of the tracks, even incorporating a talk-box device for some of the song selections. If you are planning on attending SXSW in Austin this year, the group will be performing Saturday March 16th, at the Pop is Montreal showcase at Liberty (1618 ½ East 6th Floor) at 3:55 P.M.
When the main attraction finally arrived to the stage, the crowd was at it’s full sold-out capacity with many awaiting their chance to see the South Carolina bred outfit, Toro Y Moi. Earlier this year, Toro Y Moi, released their third album, Anything in Return. The project which was the follow up to two great projects: Causers of This, and Underneath The Pine, showed the group creating a more genre-bending sound. The project was said to be more of a pop effort, however, what came across was an ambitious, and progressive effort that was beautifully all over the place. From the album thus far, the outfit has released two singles, “So Many Details,” which was later remixed featuring OFWGKTA member Hodgy Beats, as well as “Say That.” With an already eclectic fanbase, the group was able to sell-out two shows.
When Toro Y Moi entered the stage, the crowd erupted with electricity as the band started their set opening with “Rose Quartz” from their latest installment. The stage set, which included great lighting and extra cool lighting boards behind them which showed vibrant colors, and helped add an electric vibe throughout the set. The group went through music from their discography notably, “Still Sound,” “New Beat,” “Say That,” as the crowd danced like they were at a massive party. This was perhaps for me, one of the most fun shows I have ever been to. Everyone was just having a great time and vibing. The show also for me, a fan since their first project made me fall in love with them further -- as if that were possible.