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Sunday, March 3, 2024
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Concert Review: TOKiMONSTA builds suspense at Rock & Roll Hotel

LA-based DJ Jennifer Lee, better known by her fans as TOKiMONSTA, set H Street’s Rock & Roll Hotel ablaze on Oct. 1 with the D.C. stop on her Desiderium tour, named after her latest mini-EP.

TOKiMONSTA has been ruling the electronica scene since 2008, adding her own hip-hop flavors to the mix. TOKiMONSTA’s sounds are a melting pot of ODEZSA’s lighthearted beats, Flying Lotus’ distortion, Lapalux’s confusion and Shlohmo’s clean beats.

The word “Toki” means rabbit in Korean (where Lee hails from originally). Thus, geometric rabbits were appropriately emblazoned on tour posters and stickers that dotted the venue.

With platinum silver hair, a gleaming geometric necklace and a black snapback hat, Lee energetically jumped and rocked back and forth continuously – hands moving wildly across the mixer. As she deejayed, she became enveloped in kaleidoscopic visuals and geometric forms, and the crowd was unable to do anything but move fiercely and shout “TOKI, TOKI, TOKI!” along to her manipulated beats.

Lee kept the crowd on its toes with beats ranging from old school hip-hop numbers to more trap-like sounds and the relaxed chill wave releases from her successful “Creature Dreams” EP.

In contrast to the light-hearted tracks of “Creature Dreams,” TOKiMONSTA converted Rock & Roll Hotel into her fiendish, electronic “Desiderium” sanctuary.

Lee weaved throughout her melodious and mystical set a diverse amount of the most popular tracks from her various EPs. To the crowd’s absolute pleasure Lee played “Darkest (Dim)” and “Sweet Day” from her first EP “Midnight Menu.” Lee also played her latest songs from “Desiderium,” such as “Realla,” featuring the enchanting vocals of Anderson Paak, and the unbearably catchy tracks “Steal My Attention” and “Drive.”

Throughout the night, an air of suspense filled the venue. The crowd was unsure of what TOKiMONSTA would drop next, but within seconds heads all drop and screams of happiness fill the air. Lee endearingly lifted up her black snapback to reveal a huge smile at the crowds utter pleasure from her set.

Her finale song raised an even bigger uproar. “The World Is Ours” was Lee’s first ever popularized song, and her most-loved mix that she only released officially on Soundcloud this year, although it had been leaked online years ago.

At the end of the show, crowds of people rushed to the left of the stage with outstretched arms as Lee went to high-five and shake hands with all the concert-goers in front. As she slipped away backstage, a horde of people desperately lifted their heads and attempted to squeeze past to catch another glimpse of TOKiMONSTA’s impenetrable coolness.

You can listen to TOKiMONSTA’s latest album, “Desiderium” on her Soundcloud.
You can also check out her latest releases and tour dates on her website.

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