“When they play live, THE INTERNET is a band.” That’s the closest thing to a description of The Internet’s music they have currently published, with a minimalist website and only slightly more descriptive facebook page. Formed originally from the partnership between former Odd Future members Syd Tha Kyd and Matt Martians, the band also includes Patrick Paige II, Christopher Smith, and Steve Lacy. The combination is something that I would best describe as sultry R&B with clear Brainfeeder-style funk and hip-hop influences, generating catchy grooves and sexy personal narratives of love and lust.
Perhaps qualifying The Internet as a band when they play live makes sense, specifically due to their emphasis on each member as an individual artist. Their current tour, “The Internet presents: The Internet” focuses as much on their solo work as their most recent album, Ego Death, to mold together a whopping hour and forty-five minute set with no opener. It’s the first group that I’ve seen so confidently support each other’s solo efforts as much as their collaborative work, almost marketing themselves as a super group than a band of their own.
Thus, seeing them in the incredibly intimate, 400-person-capacity New Parish in Oakland never felt like a regular show. Something in the air--between the amicable and down-to-party crowd and the simultaneously confident and personable band members—made being in that room feel like an absolute privilege. Their set revolved around their best-known songs from Ego Death, starting with “Special Affair” and threading songs like “Girl” and “Get Away” between mini-sets devoted to each members solo work. Steve Lacy’s set was my personal favorite, the peak of which featured a personal serenade to an audience member who was celebrating her 20th birthday. Syd Tha Kyd also of course deserves a special mention, who’s cool composure and humble leadership perfectly complimented her soothing, sultry vocals. At just twenty-four years old, she has experience from Odd Future, The Internet, and her solo work, and thus absolutely glows with swave confidence on stage.
Overall, the show is one that could easily draw in a crowd twice the size that The New Parish can fit. The group gelled together with well-rehearsed cohesiveness, pounding out jam after jam and making it so that the crowd never stopped dancing despite their lengthy set. The members each connected personally with the crowd, signing shirts and jackets thrown on stage, responding to comments from the audience, and singing directly to individual fans. Thus, though tickets are selling out incredibly fast at almost every venue, the chance to see The Internet, specifically this tour, cannot be missed.
Photo Credit: Est. 1987