Tom Krell is a very emotive man in every sense of the word. The How To Dress Well singer has been courting alt-R&B lovers for a few years now with his heartfelt lyrics, but with his latest album, Care, he honed in on the emotion of joy with this glossier collection of songs. And at U Street Music Hall, he made sure that everyone in the room was having just as much fun as he was.
Part of Krell’s appeal is in how he makes the music come alive through his powerful singing. He was often affixed to the mic stand with eyes closed and voice ringing throughout the room as he effortlessly glided between octaves. He performed crowd-pleasers like “Repeat Pleasure” and “Words I Don’t Remember”, but also found a positive reception with newer songs like tropical-inspired track “What’s Up” and sex-positive jam “Can’t You Tell”.
He also kept the crowd’s spirits high throughout the show. Between songs, he joked around with both his band and the crowd with quips like, “Speaking of Guy Fieri, here’s a song about sexual intercourse!” However, it may have been a bit too much for some people. Near the end of his set, one girl yelled, “No, stop! Just play your music!”, which was met with laughter by everyone in the room. Perhaps Krell had a bit too much fun with the audience with his limited amount of time before the next headliner that night.
In any case, Krell’s brand of alt-R&B was a hit with the crowd. With his positive attitude permeating his soulful songs and lighthearted banter, he made sure that everyone left in as good a mood as he was. Alongside impressive opener Ex Reyes opening with their impressive combination of funk, Vampire Weekend-like Afro-pop, and rock, the U Hall crowd had a lot to smile about that night.