The first 30 minutes of Tom Krell’s set at Sleeping Village felt like being totally enveloped by The Anteroom. Krell, who performs as How to Dress Well, released the expansive Anteroom in October, and it was a significant departure from his previous two outings. Both Care — produced in part by in-demand producer Jack Antonoff — and 2014’s What is This Heart?, veered perhaps too far into pop territory, the former failing to reach the levels of Pitchfork Best New Music acclaim as Total Loss (2012) and Love Remains (2010). But all of Krell’s catalog helped inform The Anteroom, a return to the spare, industrial stylings of his experimental electronic early work.
A cold Monday and a late start time didn’t stop a crowd of 500 strong from spending a crisp hour or so with the Scottish trio, who combine hip-hop and rap, tribal percussion, anthemic vocals, and warm synths for an intriguing, utterly danceable mix.
Cursive frontman Tim Kasher formerly called the Windy City home, which made the band’s return visit to Thalia Hall a homecoming after more than three years away.
And truly, what a Chicago-ass show it was.
Openers Meatwave and Campdogzz also hail from the 3rd largest city in America and set the tone for the evening, a night so teeming with the working spirit of the Midwest, one could practically taste the Malört in the air. Though Thalia felt a touch roomy–it was, after all, a brutally, unseasonably cold Thursday–fellow aged emos showed up despite their day jobs and an 8:30 show time to catch Cursive on their US tour in support of their new album Vitriola, the first out on the band’s own label, 15 Passenger.