Those who wanted an extra bit of fun on MLK weekend were found lined up outside of The Echo Sunday night, waiting to see the debut of Brighton-based band Toy playing Los Angeles for the very first time. The krautrock, psychedelic-yet-edgy 5-piece band has quietly hovered underneath the radar while raising a few eyebrows with their first self-titled album, as well as their newly released sophomore album, Join the Dots. They’re known for their entrancing hooks and mesmerizing tunes, and Toy pleased fans new and old by playing a mix of their two albums during the set.
Toy at The Echo
Even before the opening act, some fans found themselves duking it out in the venue, and had to be removed from the premises just as the doors were opening. Concert-goers were soon nestled inside the second story of the two-part venue, ready to enjoy opening acts Von Haze and Cold Showers who set the tone for the night with heavy rock and keyboard accompaniment, while solid basslines and consistent drum beats carried on the sets. Throughout the performances leading up to the headliner, members of Toy were found weaving in and out of the crowd as if they were audience members themselves.
After quickly setting up their equipment, Toy immediately charged into their first track, “Colors Running Out,” enveloping the whole room in a warm buzz of Dominic O’Dair’s dissonant guitar riffs accompanied by soothing vocals by frontman Tom Dougall. The whole set flowed nicely, jumping between both albums without even making note of it. Standout tracks included “Kopter,” “Heart Skips a Beat,” “Endlessly,” and the 9 minute and 51 second closer of Join the Dots, “Fall Out of Love.” While Toy’s first album is a bit more upbeat and reminiscent of psychedelic folk hooks, songs from their newly-released second album reflect a strong maturity in the band’s development and also their experimentation with a more dreamy, intergalactic aura that transports the listener into another dimension.
All around, heads were bobbing and it was apparent that Toy was well-received in the small venue over-looking Echo Park. One man from the audience (in a strange attempt to prove he was the biggest fan in the room) managed to infiltrate the stage not once, but twice during the show, stealing a microphone to proclaim how “awesome” the band was. Needless to say, the band didn’t even flinch. They made The Echo their home that Sunday night and there’s no doubt they’ll be back in the near future.
Article by Amanda Erwin