‘How It Ends’ for TOLEDO

Two men play guitar on stage with a disco ball in the background.
Toledo charmed the crowd at the Moroccan Lounge, performing fan-favorite songs off their recent release “How It Ends (UNRATED EDITION).” (Becca Speier | Daily Trojan)

In a hole-in-the-wall venue washed in amber ambiance, TOLEDO took the stage to conclude their first solo tour, “How It Ends.” Having performed for seven cities prior to coming to Los Angeles, Daniel Álvarez de Toledo and Jordan Dunn-Pilz brought both experience and melancholy to this final show, ecstatic to play for L.A. fans, but sad to see the tour come to a close. However, fans can rest easy with the knowledge that there may be future shows to come.

“It’s been great,” said Álvarez de Toledo in an interview with the Daily Trojan. “We want to just do this all the time because we’d love to be touring constantly.”

With the room packed to the brim, TOLEDO welcomed the support of a crowd teeming with loyal fans who knew every word of their songs both old and new. The dazzling atmosphere of the Moroccan Lounge had a relaxed and amicable tinge, as if the band was revisiting old friends to catch up and exchange a laugh and a drink.

On a platform illuminated by an ever-shifting aura and a little disco ball, the duo performed pieces of their flawless discography, even showcasing songs from their recent release “How It Ends (UNRATED EDITION).” 

During the first quarter of the show, TOLEDO showcased fan favorite “Dog Has Its Day,” immediately demanding the attention of the crowd with their inviting charisma and visible joy in performing. “Flake” was met with electrifying excitement from audience members, many shouting along with the song’s staple lyrics “I fucking hate your guts right now.” 

TOLEDO’s discography is consistent in both sound and quality, but every track harbors a stripe of uniqueness to it that prevents repetitiveness. Each song projects a clear intention and vibe, which the pair attributes to their sources of inspiration.

“We are really inspired by film,” Álvarez de Toledo said. “When I [draw from] film, I can steal an emotion or a feeling.”

Dunn-Pilz expanded upon the sentiment, explaining why the duo values inspiration taken from film over music.

“When we listen to music for inspiration, it’s really hard to disconnect that from the product we’re going to end up with,” Dunn-Pilz said. “You don’t want to steal from people, [so when] pulling from a visual medium like film you can be like, ‘this mood or atmosphere, I want to bring into the music.’”

A person plays guitar and sings into microphone.
The Moroccan Lounge hosted the final stop of Toledo’s “How It Ends” tour. (Becca Speier | Daily Trojan)

TOLEDO’s unique creative process, which plays to their reliance on each other when producing new music. Álvarez de Toledo emphasized this symbiotic creative dynamic.

“We’re not a band. We’re just the two of us, so a lot of the creative process feels like we start things on our own and then we can’t really finish them without each other,” Álvarez de Toledo said. “We usually get just 20 seconds into working on something, and then we’re like, ‘Okay, now it’s time to go involve the other person.’”

The love and care TOLEDO has poured into their numerous tracks blindingly shine through, even more so when the duo performs them live. Throughout the night it was apparent that the extra magic ingredient in their songs stems from TOLEDO’s good-humored and jubilant personalities. Between songs, Álvarez de Toledo and Dunn-Pilz were constantly interacting and joking around with each other, their band and the crowd. While performing, the pair were clearly having the time of their lives, emanating their radiant elation throughout the room.

The setlist of the show displayed the duality of TOLEDO’s discography perfectly. “Qué Pasa?,” a slower song written in tribute to Alvarez de Toledo’s father, had the crowd swaying to and fro to the tune’s calming ambiance. The song was a warm hug engulfing the venue and stood in contrast to “Oak Hill,” one of TOLEDO’s more recent releases, which sets pleadingly apologetic lyrics against the backdrop of a graceful instrumental. The final song on the setlist, “Sunday Funday,” returned to the calmer vibe while incorporating an intoxicatingly dreamy chorus to complement lovely vocals.

After TOLEDO left the stage, the audience immediately raised a cacophony, clamoring for an encore. Everyone knew the band wouldn’t leave without performing one of their most iconic tracks. Luckily, their assumption was confirmed as Álvarez de Toledo and Dunn-Pilz sauntered back on stage within less than a minute of their departure. With that, TOLEDO began “Some Samurai,” the pair’s incredibly popular song from their 2019 EP “Hotstuff.” The atmosphere was nostalgic and pure, as most of the crowd unabashedly sang along with the performers. 

Wrapping up their (actual) final song, TOLEDO bid their farewell to L.A. but promised to return in time. Even after exiting the stage, the vibe from their evocative performance hung in the air and will remain until TOLEDO makes their return.