The windows were down and the cool bay air hit my skin. I asked the uber driver if he had an auxiliary cord, and he did. So I played “The Journey” — the first song off of Tom Misch’s second project, Beat Tape 2 — in anticipation for the show. All day I had been thinking about it, and it was finally here.
Tom Misch is a 21 year old producer, multi-instrumentalist, singer, and DJ from London. Throughout the years he has had multiple single releases, but his first complete solo project came out in February of 2014, titled Beat Tape 1. In August of 2015, Misch released his second EP, Beat Tape 2, and then most recently this July, a project called Reverie. I have listened to all three works more than once, and, if you like good music, I recommend them highly. Tom Misch is a musical genius.
The show I attended was one of the earliest stops for Misch on his first tour ever. It took place on November 11th, in San Francisco, at the Rickshaw Stop — a small, modest venue. Once inside I noticed a soundbooth, a bar, and a little upstairs area to sit down and have a drink. Other than than that, just a stage and a space to stand and listen. The decorations were simple too: red curtains and Christmas lights hung from the ceiling, and a projector played strange movie clips from the 90’s onto a screen that rested behind the stage. And that was it. It was cozy and intimate, and I was at the very front. Before too long, the entire place was packed full.
Chris McClenney, an up and coming DJ/singer-songwriter and member of the record label Soulection opened up for Misch. He played funky remixes of old hits like “Rock With You” by Michael Jackson and “Rock Your Body” by Justin Timberlake, pairing them with up tempo dance-heavy drums and synths. He also played and sang some original music that matched the funk of his DJ set. By the end, everyone was ready to dance.
I have never felt so lucky to see an artist, one who I know in a couple years will be filling up huge arenas, so up close and personal. Misch, who played guitar, was accompanied by a drummer, violinist, bassist, and pianist, all of whom were amazing. Misch opened up with “The Journey,” the song I listened to in my uber, and from the second he started the entire audience was transfixed. As a young artist, he was in awe to see such a packed house, and throughout the entire show we too were in awe of him. He played many of his groovy hits, like his popular single release “Sunshine” and “Watch Me Dance” off of Reverie as the encore. The best way I can describe what I saw is this: five brilliant musicians jamming out, getting lost in the music and soul, and giving their energy to the crowd. I can confidently say, musically, it was one of the best shows I have ever seen.
Article by Nathaniel Wartzman