Glam-pop superstars I Dont Know How But They Found Me (IDKHow) shined at The Slowdown Saturday night (11/6) during a stop on their Razzmatazzma tour.
Playing to a near sold out room, the magical duo of Dallon Weekes and Ryan Seaman, along with touring guitarist Anthony Purpura, provided the soundtrack for an enchaned evening full of synthed out bops and Bowie-esque dance tunes.
For those unfamiliar with I Dont Know How But They Found Me, the band started in 2016 when long-time friends Dallon Weekes and Ryan Seaman came together after working on several projects in the past to form something new.
Seaman joined Weekes' former band The Brobecks in 2008 and played drums for Weekes' solo projects, including the songs "Sickly Sweet Holidays" and "Please Don't Jump (It's Christmas)."
Initially a solo act, Weekes had been writing and recording songs for several years while on the road with Panic! at the Disco. Seaman performed drums on these songs, which eventually became their debut EP 1981Extended Play and Weekes proposed that they present themselves as a duo.
While the band had been discreetly playing shows for months, they tried to keep things quiet at first as to not exploit the merits of their previous groups Panic! at the Disco and Falling in Reverse, respectively.
On its website the band describes itself as "...a band out of time. One who faded away into obscurity after struggling to find success in the late 70's and early 80's" Clearly this is part of a fictional tale as the members are still in their 30s, but it's a cool backstory and way to present music that gives a nod to 80s powerhouses like Bowie, The Cure, and Wham.
Before we get into IDKHow's live performance, they brought along an opening band, Benches. These young guns were terrific! If I was much cooler I would have a long list of band references to describe their sound, but I'm going to say they sounded like a young version of The Strokes. Ok, throw in some Vampire Weekend for good measure. Hey, I just checked their Soundcloud and they have an upbeat cover of "Last Night", see I was spot on with The Strokes reference.
Benches did tear things up though and had the crowd screaming for more! Even when charismatic lead singer Bryan finished cleaning up his pedal board and waved goodbye the mostly female first three or four rows shrieked with glee.
After Benches got the crowd pumped up it was time for the Glam-pop prom to begin!
IDKHow got things shaking from the start with the catchy "Do It All The Time" from the 1981 Extended Play release. Afterwards lead singer Dallon addressed the crowd "Hello Omaha!" "Do we have some singers in the crowd tonight?" He proceeded to lead the chorus of mostly female teens and twentysomethings through a series of "ooohs and aaahhs" before nodding in approval. "Ooh we do have some singers here tonight!" Right from the start you could tell Dallon is a true showman, ready to give his all to make the crowd smile.
I learned about IDKHow a few years ago when their single "Choke" was rising up the charts. Around that same time, summer 2018, they played Omaha, but I was on a trip with the family to Legoland and I missed it. Dallon mentioned that the last time they played Omaha he had laryngitis and could only get through three songs before they had to shut it down. So I guess I didn't miss much. A kid in the front raised his hand. "Hey, you were there! Thanks for giving us another shot." Dallon sounded pitch perfect this time around, no signs of laryngitis here.
Right after "Do It All The Time" IDKHow broke into my favorite song, "Clusterhug". How cool that it popped up so early in the set. It's such a cinematic number, like something out of a musical from the 50s.
"Only if you'd like me to
I could fall in love with you
Only if you'd like me to
Fall in love"
Next, the band played a song from Dallon and Ryan's former band The Brobecks, "A Letter". The super high vocals reminded me a lot of the Beach Boys. Honestly it seemed like there weren't many lyrics other than a bunch of oohs and ah-ahs in between sound bytes of what sounded like a speak and spell. It was definitely different to say the least.
A bit further into the set Dallon explained that they were going to play a cover. "This next song is really just to appease me. It's a cover by a legendary band. If you don't know who it is, you might need to go home and do some research. It's called "Boys Don't Cry". " Aaaahhh, who doesn't love The Cure? I just had to snag a clip. It's posted on our Instagram. Check it out when you get a second, and while you're there give us a follow!
Towards the latter half of the set IDKHow broke out another Brobecks song, "Visitation Of The Ghost". This one had a more straight forward bluesy beat perfect for doing a break down. As Ryan kept the beat going Dallon walked into the middle of the crowd for some snaps and to conduct another sing along. "Oh my lord, lord, lord" the crowd shrilled as Dallon cheered everyone on. It was an awesome way to break up the set.
With only a few songs left the band played another personal favorite, "Nobody Likes The Opening Band". When you've been to as many shows as I have, this song just hits a little different. If you look at the lyrics, you can tell that IDKHow doesn't really take themselves too seriously, which makes them all that much more likeable.
Oh, come and see the opening band Now that you've got your tickets And beverages in hand They look so tired, sound uninspired Guitars are secondhand 'Cause no one likes an opening band
Nobody likes the opening band Their set time's far too early And I've never heard of them And chances are they won't go far Career is sure to end 'Cause no one likes an opening band
Oh, unfamiliar things will make us nervous But singing here for you gives me a purpose, so...
Take pity on the opening bands 'Cause no one came to see them Except their mom and dad But if you lend an ear And give them just one little chance You may just like the You may just like the You may just like the opening band
After one more hit from the Razzmatazz album, "Mad IQs" the band closed with their smash "Choke". With phone lights in the air the crowd swayed to the sugary pop dance tune. IDKHow may be a bit new still considering they started in 2016, but these guys are seasoned pros. Their showmanship and charisma clearly shows why the line was around the block with kids wearing their shirts.
I suspect the next time they play Omaha the Slowdown will be too small for them. Maybe they'll be able to play The Admiral (formerly Sokol Auditorium) since renovations are expected to be complete in Spring 2022! (If they aren't arena-level by then).
I Dont Know How But They Found Me's latest release Razzmatazz is available on Fearless Records or wherever you stream music. Thanks so much to IDKHow's management for photo access.
If you like what you read, please share! Every share, like, and follow helps keep content like this going.