‘I Don’t Know How But They Found Me’ get found at the Roxian Theatre


Photo by Kylie Thomas

idkHOW performing live in Pittsburgh

Written By Kylie Thomas, Co-Features/A&E Editor

The frontman of a band can make or break a concert experience. The audience’s enjoyment is in the hands of this frontman as they are usually the one who interacts with the audience and gets the energy moving.

I Don’t Know How But They Found Me (iDKHOW) are an alternative band, whose unique use of synths and experimental melodies gives the band a sound unlike any other artist. This specific tour is for the release of their first full-length album, “Razzmatazz” which came out in October of 2020. The band was unable to tour this album any earlier due to the pandemic, but this tour gave them the opportunity to give the songs their chance in the spotlight. Most of the setlist consisted of “Razzmatazz” songs such as “Kiss Goodnight” and “Sugar Pills,” but the band was sure to mix in some old hits and even some songs from singer Dallon Weekes and drummer Ryan Seaman’s old band, The Brobecks.

The concert took place on February 9 at the Roxian Theatre with the opening act, Superet, a band that has opened for iDKHOW on a previous tour. For some fans, this choice of opening act made the concert better because it’s a band that they know and enjoy.

The weird thing about the Roxian Theatre is the way the venue is set up. There is a small floor right in front of the stage that’s probably the size of my living room, which is very tiny. Then behind that small floor, up some stairs, is the second part of the floor that’s about level with stage height. While this can be good for being able to see the band, it makes it hard to be close to the stage and makes safety an afterthought. A floor that small in front of the stage, with the wrong crowd, can be disastrous as there are many accounts at venues where audience members get crushed due to venue setup.

While the floor setup is concerning, it does make it a more intimate experience with the artist, which is perfect for bands like Superet and iDKHOW that enjoy interacting personally with the crowd as much as possible. For instance, during Superet’s set, the band connected closely with the crowd, even getting them to sing along with a new song they had never heard before. That’s one of the best parts about Superet as an opener, even if you don’t know their music, you can still appreciate and get involved with the show they’re putting on.

Superet also match the energy of iDKHOW very well; they’re two compatible bands. They both use a style that heavily relies on 80s influenced synths that sound like heaven live. The music is all electronically propelled and get the entire crowd dancing with its beats. For instance, their song “Go to Sleep Kimberly” talks a lot about taking a girl dancing and that lyrical theme is perfectly reflected in the musical elements; there’s no way that a person in the crowd can stay still. Needless to say, Superet did a super job of preparing the crowd for the headliner, which is a hard feat for opening bands.

Eventually came the time for iDKHOW to take the stage with their song “Leave Me Alone” from their latest debut, but, something was different. Normally, the live band consists of just Weekes and Seaman; however, the band just recently introduced tour guitarist, Anthony Purpura. Thids addition of Purpura changes the atmosphere of the live show dramatically and for the better. No longer do the guitar features have to be played on a track — now fans can relish in the beauty of live guitar vibrations. Purpura even matches Weekes and Seaman’s energies so well, dancing along with the music and putting all of his passion into the crowd.

However, at the end of the day, a lot of the audience’s eyes are on the frontman who makes them turn to putty in his hands. Weekes is one of the most incredible frontman I have ever seen because of the control he has over a crowd. If you’ve never been to a concert before, let me tell you, a crowd never gets quiet when a musician tells them to, never. There’s always that one person who has to yell and be a fool. Never have I seen an artist silence an entire room with the movement of his finger until I saw Weekes live for the first time. Sure enough, four years later, Weekes keeps the ability to either make a crowd scream as loud as they can or silent in under a second.

It’s not just stage presence that makes this concert overwhelmingly successful; it’s the music itself too. Since iDKHOW use a lot of experimental instrumentals in their tracks, it seems like the music wouldn’t transfer well live, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. All the musicians never miss a beat and even the baking tracks the band uses mixes perfectly with the live instrumentals.

One of the best examples of this is in the band’s song “Razzmatazz.” “Razzmatazz” makes extreme use of saxophones and other big band instruments, and it’s really a big band song. But I’ll be honest, I would’ve thought there was a live saxophonist right at the show that’s how well the tracks mix in. The musicality of the band live blows me away each time I see them, the way that the complex riffs translate live is beautiful and shows off the talent of all three members.

iDKHOW are one of the most skilled live bands I have ever had the pleasure of seeing, and I’ve been to probably over 100 concerts in my lifetime so far. Somehow Weekes is always able to put the crowd in a trance where nothing matters but that moment. The band is incredible at making sure each individual has their own intimate moment at the show. There’s a connection between the crowd and iDKHOW that is unlike anything I’ve seen at a show before, and it is this connection that makes all their shows a success. iDKHOW truly brought some “Razzmatazz” and razzle dazzle to the city of Pittsburgh.