How To Dress Well

Last Saturday, Yours Truly presented an awe-inspiring show at the Rickshaw Stop, featuring Oakland’s Finally Boys, Chicago’s How To Dress Well, and an opening DJ set from Babe Rainbow.

After Babe Rainbow (the experimental electronic solo-project of Vancouver’s Cameron Reed) warmed up the evening with an hour-long DJ set, spinning tracks from like-minded Canadians such as Grimes and Evian Christ, Finally Boys took the stage around 11pm, “representin’ the East Bay” throughout their hour-long set of love-laced dance vibes. Preetom Choudhury and Shane LeBlac provided ethereal vocals over their spacey production. Preetom frequently provided amusing interpretive dance moves during their set, tossing glow sticks and streamers into the crowd during “Lunar Lovers.” He even freestyle rapped during one of their closing tracks, while fans reciprocated the love of this close-knit duo by blowing bubbles and dancing along. Needless to say, the Bay Area’s Finally Boys are fun to watch.

Finally Boys

Post-R&B pioneer How To Dress Well took the stage at midnight. Up until recently Tom Krell had been a solo performer, but he was accompanied on this U.S./Canadian mini-tour by Aaron Read, and Babe Rainbow’s Cameron Reed. On stage, Aaron provided guitar and violin accompaniments while Cameron worked the MIDI. Tom sang into two microphones simultaneously, each with varying degrees of reverb.

The stage was backed by How To Dress Well’s signature projections of colorful, often emotional video art, with the band casting a majestic silhouette over the backdrop. Tom’s fragile falsetto hypnotized the silent crowd, the deep emotion of his face undoubtedly transferring into the audience. How To Dress Well performed several tracks from the upcoming album Total Loss, including “Ocean Floor For Everything” and the closer “Set It Right.” Tom also sang a few earlier singles such as “Suicide Dream” and a chilling a capella encore of “Decisions.” During “Ready For the World,” he bridged the middle of the song with a cover of R. Kelly’s “I Wish”, with a couple enthusiastic fans singing along.

How To Dress Well pulled of a stunning performance filled with pure emotion and aesthetic beauty. This particular tour acted as a bit of a teaser for How To Dress Well’s upcoming album, as the band will be performing more dates and longer sets once the album is released this fall. I highly recommend you catch the show the next time it comes around.

How To Dress Well poster