iPhone snaps by me
Once again, I spent my Friday night at the Biltmore Cabaret here in Vancouver, but this time, it was for How to Dress Well and Sky Ferreira, who were co-headlining together. I think co-headlining a gig is such an odd thing even though both artists are “equal” and get the same amount of time for their set — sometimes it can work really well, but sometimes, it just doesn’t. This gig in particular fell mostly into the “doesn’t work” category as both artists are so vastly different from the other, as is their music.
Brooklyn-via-Australia group High Highs kicked the night off with a set comprised mostly of songs from their debut LP, Open Season. A nice surprise was their cover of College‘s “A Real Hero” from the ace Drive soundtrack.
Soon after, it was How to Dress Well‘s turn onstage. The ever-soulful Tom Krell was accompanied by Vancouver’s own Aaron Read (The Sunday Service, anyone?), who had laptop and violin duties for the set. With a quick dedication to Krell’s grandmother, he went right into “Cold Nites,” a standout track from Total Loss. Throughout the set, there were moving images projected against the white cloth backdrop as Krell moved between two microphones. Between songs, he would tell funny stories and answered some of his fans’ questions. It was a stark contrast from the emotional and soul-baring quality of Krell’s music.
Another contrast to the night was Sky Ferreira herself. It took her a while to get onstage due to a long set-up and because she had to tie her shoes. But her fans didn’t seem to care much as there were many cheers for her when she finally appeared looking like she had just dragged herself out of bed. Dressed in a jersey sweater and leather shorts, Ferreira started off with “Lost in My Bedroom,” from her Ghost EP. It’s obvious she’s still floundering in terms of finding a style that works for her, as evidenced by the varying genres that her songs jumped from. Ferreira went from the folk-bluesy-tinged “Sad Dream,” which showed off her surprisingly strong vocals, to songs like the guitar-charged “You’re Not The One.”
Finishing with arguably her biggest tune, “Everything Is Embarrassing” had pretty much everyone singing along. The Dev Hynes-produced track is pretty great and if she keeps with this sound, I think that Ferreira might finally be able to find her footing in the music industry and get that debut album of hers released.