Live Review: TOSH at the House of Blues

Tosh - Kaley Nelson 1

Material: TOSH pens her own original dance-pop with catchy melodies and stories. She exhibits a vulnerability beyond her years.
 The artist’s most radio-friendly song is “Liar,” and with lyrics like “...skinny little white bitch/ everybody hates you” you can’t help but stop and take notice. TOSH is also a visual artist with fashion style both eye-catching and fun: For this show she wore a neon orange leather peplum and matching skirt paired with black polka dot tights. Her black plugs contrasted well with her striking platinum mohawk and braid, reminiscent of Aimee Mann in the ‘80s.

Musicianship: Toeller is tight on his finales and breakdowns, pumping up the crowd with plenty of bass drum. Bodi locks in some triple beats on his five-string for “Don't Stop.” Blanco does his Gibson Les Paul justice throughout with lovely double picked solos, most especially on “Edge of Insanity.” “Cover Up Your Lonely Heart” is one of the group’s strongest compositions with a Foster the People feel. While the band suffered a false start, the real setback was a gesture to bring the group’s levels up after the initial sound check. Once this happened, TOSH’s vocals were completely buried in the mix and feedback became a minor concern.

Performance: TOSH sang with passion and was not timid when it came to reaching for the high notes. For “Don't Stop” she took her mic off the stand and worked the room as much as she could within the cramped quarters.

Her vocals could be heard a bit better when she directed her mouth into the microphone, but she seemed to really belt the lyrics and directed the mic away from her mouth. While this is typically a good idea for a smaller performance space, in this circumstance it only added to the inability to hear her clearly. However, she gestured for more vocal in her monitor, and by the end of the set her vocal levels were back to where they needed to be.

Summary: At one point the club’s sound board operator mentioned the cymbals needed to come down. The band would benefit from working on their overall dynamics to bypass the need to bring all 
the sound levels up. Despite another band loading equipment through her audience throughout the duration of her set, TOSH was still able to command attention.

Players: TOSH, vocals; Ramon Blanco, guitar; Chris Toeller, drums; Gui Bodi, bass.

Venue: House of Blues
City: West Hollywood, CA