I love going to shows in the Twin Cities. I feel like people up here are much more open to everything and I feel like I’m not alone when I walk into a show where I know nothing about the bands. I think there are other people in the cities that are like me and would just rather go to a show than sit at home so they pick a random one and just go.
Last night was one of those shows for me. I had heard of the headlining band, How To Dress Well, before. I mean, how could you not be intrigued by that name?! The fact that I saw Har Mar Superstar walk into the venue just a couple of songs into Ex Reyes’ (the sole opening act) set just confirmed that this was bound to be a good show.
Being able to see someone as famous at Har Mar just walk into a show on a Saturday night and be able to stand there, have a drink, and just enjoy a show is what makes shows in the Twin Cities great. Sure, a couple of people came up to him to shake his hand and yeah, one person got a picture with him but other than that, he seemed to just fade into the crowd.
Ex Reyes, as I said previously, was the only opening act for the night. They came out on stage dressed in all white and played through a quick, twenty minute set. Their music was very indie pop but still unique. They almost had elements of psychedelic and soul music mixed in with you typical pop sound. Singer Mikey Freedom Hart seemed to be extremely soft spoken when speaking in between songs. He even seemed a bit shy at times but when he started singing his voice filled the venue.
The night was headlined by How To Dress Well. HTDW released a new CD just two days ago called Care. I really like what this album is about. The lyrics are literally about how to care for one another, the world, and, most importantly, yourself. The lyrics are deep and meaningful. When you mix that with the personality of mastermind Tom Krell, you get a set full of emotions, feelings, and great music.
Even though I expected a dapper man to come out in a suit all dressed up per the band name, Tom came out in a pair of overalls. He charmed the crowd with every word he said and had us all chuckling during the Q&A sections of the show (he answered a couple of questions from the crowd between songs). He had a sense of humor about him when answering the questions and talking with the crowd but as soon as he started singing again you could tell his was all business.
Tom’s voice really stands out among the muddied instruments going on in the background. The amount of vocal effects he uses is insane but perfect. It doesn’t sound as robotic as you would think with all of the effects. You can tell the band, although sounding a bit muddied and foggy, is more than talented and really does a good job of enhancing Tom’s voice. The backing band featured Mikey of Ex Reyes and the female keyboardist of Ex Reyes. The drummer was the only face other than Tom that hadn’t been seen on stage. Although half of the band had already played, it was hard to tell that the two bands had any connection because they were so different.
The softspoken vocals of Ex Reyes were replaced by the powerful vocal chords of Tom. The almost psychedelic feeling was still there but with HTDW it felt a bit more electronic due to all of the samples and vocal effects. The two bands may have been completely different but they definitely complimented each other well.
Like usual, I knew nothing about the bands walking into the show last night but, like usual, I walked in and felt at home and found myself getting lost in a night full of great music.
Venue: 7th Street Entry
Sausage Fest Meter- 5 out of 10
Average Age of the Crowd- 23
Crowd Surfers- 2 Attempts
Broken Bones- None
Drunkards Taken Out By Security- None
Celebrity Sightings-Har Mar Superstar
Overall Score- 8 out of 10