I saw How to Dress Well last night at Rickshaw Stop by myself (until, however, to my luck, a last.fm homie actually introduced himself, for which I was delightfully grateful!). There’s something so unusual about going to a show solo. You willfully purchase the ticket knowing you’ll be in the midst of such a social scene, yet enduring detachment from it all. This oddity occurs purely because you know that show will be worth that undeniable loneliness you’ll feel while enjoy the sweet sounds you’re so looking forward to.
Tom Krell aka How to Dress Well stated on Twitter that he’d be going on at midnight. I should’ve taken his word for it, because I stood there at 10:30 pm in the middle of the mostly empty venue, beer in hand, looking around at the walls, dying for someone/anyone/anything to get on stage and give me an excuse to stop feeling so alone. Thirty mins later, laughs, fresh jams, entertainment and beauty ensued:
The starter band, Finally Boys, a fresh-faced electronic duo “representin’ the East Bay” was ironically hilarious and their sounds were super fresh. I was totally digging their entire set, not to mention their laugh-inducing interpretive dances and entertaining posse of bubble blowing, mullet donning, hyphy groupies and/or girlfriends. I kept looking around the room to exchange a mutual laugh, giggle and/or wide eye, yet everyone was blank faced and swaying. Regardless, they produced ridiculously sweet sounds and an entertaining set. I can only find three of their songs anywhere (find them here), and this one’s definitely a keeper:
Finally Boys – Lunar Lover:
Sure enough, How to Dress Well, the lo-fi, R&B artist came on at 11:50 pm. A violinist accompanied, and I’m guessing a keyboardist (I really don’t know, there were too many tall people to my left) and Tom asked everyone to squeeze in. Not only is Tom an insanely beautiful human with twinkling eyes and a charming demeanor, but his songs are enchanting and raw. His entire set was simple yet full of impact and his songs produced an entrancing quality to which you felt frozen in place, stung by the beauty he sweetly belted. My absolute favorite part of the set was when he swiftly came back for an encore, and swung the microphone over his shoulder to swoon the audience with the fragility of his pure voice. In that very moment, the entire audience fell silent, lapping up those last moments of delicate sounds.
After the lights went up, the dude next to me (who kept singing “shit, shit, shiiiiit” along to the songs) turned to his buddy and exclaimed, “I don’t think anyone gets just how much I felt during that.” You’re probably right bro, being that I think you were on drugs, but regardless, we were all certainly feeling something during that beauty of a set. This was part of How to Dress Well’s pre-album tour. His LP Total Loss is due in September. His latest dreamy jam, Ocean Floor for Everything has already made its presence on my blog, though it’s worth another go, as are his R. Kelly covers. Most certainly take up the chance to see How to Dress Well and/or Finally Boys – You won’t regret it, even if you’re alone.