Concert Review: BLEND goes to TOKiMONSTA & ZHU
By Bailey Whelton
Photographed by Kaylin Balderrama
On September 19th, EDM lovers from around the Austin area came together at Stubb’s B-B-Q to listen to TOKiMONSTA and ZHU.
TOKiMONSTA who opened up the night with a huge smile on her face was ready to get the crowd hyped with her music. TOKiMONSTA, otherwise known as Jennifer Lee, is an LA native who has had a long journey when it comes to making music.
In 2015, Lee was diagnosed with Moyamoya Disease in 2015, which caused her brain to lose the ability to comprehend music. After reteaching herself how to play music, she began working on her album Lune Rouge which was released in 2017. To the average concert-goer on this night, you never would’ve expected such a hard journey Lee has been through. She kept the audience engaged with every song, jumped around on stage, and appeared to be so happy performing her music for this crowd. By the end of her set there was no one who wasn’t fist bumping, shaking their hips, or jumping to the beat.
After TOKiMONSTA’s set was over, the crowd waited in anticipation as ZHU’s team prepared the stage for him to perform. Everyone in the audience started screaming as they saw ZHU walk onto the stage with a big hat and sunglasses, behind a cloud of smoke. ZHU is famous for hiding his identity until mid 2014, asking his fans to judge him only by his music. The legend that we know today as Steven Zhu fully emerged with his debut album Generationwhy on July 29, 2016.
ZHU, who recently performed at last year’s ACL lineup, brought that same energy but a different set list to Stubb’s. His music is more in the realm of electronic-house which had a heavier sound to it compared to TOKiMONSTA’s upbeat hip-hop electronic music. Although ZHU is a DJ he also has a guitarist and saxaphone player accompany him on stage and incorporates instruments into his songs.
ZHU’s new album RINGOS DESERT and TOKiMONSTA’s music is available to listen to on Spotify and iTunes. In ZHU’s album he collaborated with TOKiMONSTA on the song “Light It Up”, so be on the lookout for it. If either artists come to Austin again soon plan to be there, you won’t regret it.