Some shows are worth doing anything to get to see, even if that means staying up super extra late on a “school night”; the How To Dress Well show at the Biltmore a few weeks ago was definitely one of them.
With three acts on the bill, the Biltmore promised much for this dry but chilly Monday night – Plays:Four opening up, followed by Beacon, and How To Dress Well as the night’s crown jewel.
Plays:Four consists of three local young gentlemen operating some seriously heavy hardware. They strive for a full blazing ambience with a warm, full-sounding bass with a metallic offspring not unlike that of L.A’s Matthewdavid. It was a suitable opening and the pan-driven soundwaves went down well to a sparsely populated Biltmore.
Up next were Beacon, Ghostly International’s recent offering, hailing from New York. They are a dark duo but with mellow undertones and heartfelt lyrics. Much of their material is soft and wavy, lyric-based electroncia built around slow concerning vocals, though their rave-y side does shine through at times. Thomas Mullarney III’s vocals and their reflective nature dominated their live show. In essence, their sound falls somewhere in between Darkstar and FaltyDL. Their lead single, “The Feeling’s Gone”, is a slow-burning trance-tinged representation of their entire sound. They chose this to close their set, ending with a suspended false ending which left the crowd wanting slightly more. It was a nice tone to set for what was to follow.
After a slightly longer than usual wait, last up on the night was Tom Krell, the man who has now released multiple LPs under the name How To Dress Well, an act drowned in mystery. Krell, a former Philosophy student, has studied in several different countries including Berlin, which partly explains the production values he has adopted on both HTDW albums, which are riddled with Burial-esque production tricks and techniques, not to mention quite a few of Krell’s own original production maneuvers.
Krell’s voice really is something to behold – it carries across the room so well and just sounds abnormal coming from someone his age, gender and creed. From start to finish, Krell had a remarkably humble and honest stage presence despite his larger than life vocals. His voice is magnificently powerful and his delivery throughout the entire set was both audacious and innovative in equal measures.
The set consisted of a balanced blend from both LPs, with “Ready For The World”, “& It Was U” and “Suicide Dream 2” being particular highlights.
You get the impression that Tom Krell is only at the beginning of a long career and has many, many more hits up his sleeve.
Get to see this man perform at the earliest opportunity – he’s a modern day treasure. In the meantime, go buy the record.