Fans 'Come Together' to Support the Internet at Paradise Rock Club
December 6, 2018 | By Olivia Oriaku
Los Angeles-based band The Internet, whose hazy, jazzy sound fuses digital pop and hip-hop with new-wave R&B, brought people of all different backgrounds together on Dec. 5 at Paradise Rock Club.
Emerging from the Los Angeles hip-hop collective Odd Future, which includes members such as Frank Ocean, Tyler, the Creator, and Earl Sweatshirt, among others, The Internet was originally formed by producer and vocalist Sydney Bennett, better known by her stage name Syd Tha Kyd or simply Syd, and producer, keyboardist, and vocalist Matthew Martin, better known as Matt Martians. After the release of their 2011 album “Purple Naked Ladies,” where the duo experimented with psychedelic, futuristic pulses and heavy synthesized beats, the group added its current members: producer, guitarist, and vocalist Steve Lacy; bassist, producer, and rapper Patrick Paige II; and producer and drummer Christopher Smith. Next would come their 2013 album “Feel Good,” and their 2015 Grammy-nominated album “Ego Death,” in which these unique instrumentalists and sound engineers showcased their diverse abilities.
The Internet took some time apart before releasing their fourth album “Hive Mind,” as all five of the band members explored their individual sounds, releasing solo projects including Martian’s “The Drum Chord Theory,” Syd’s “Fin,” Lacy’s “Steve Lacy’s Demo – EP,” Smith’s “Loud,” and Paige II’s “Letters of Irrelevance.” Back from their brief hiatus, the band is currently riding out the success of their newly released album, stopping in Boston to perform as part of the “Hive Mind Tour.”
Crowd members screamed with excitement as soon as the jazzy bass line of “Come Together,” a song off of “Hive Mind,” was heard. Next was another song off of the group’s new album, “Roll (Burbank Funk),” where the band’s harmonized, misty vocals were layered over a punchy beat, causing the entire audience to bop and swing to the song’s rhythmic motif. The stage set design, which included a red, velvet couch, two ornate side lamps, and a large, decorative plant, encompassed the band’s casual aesthetic and made audience members feel as if they were watching an intimate living room performance. During “La Di Da,” the stage’s mood shifted slightly, as the lights brightened to purple and pink and a disco ball emerged on the screen behind the band; the dynamic and funk-inspired set matched the song’s groovy undertones perfectly.
“You guys like Ego Death?” Syd asked, before the crowd responded with a thunderous applause and Paige II’s deep bass riffs came in, introducing the next song, “Special Affair.” Next, Syd asked the couples in the crowd how long they’d been together and fans of all different ages replied—relationship lengths ranged from five to twenty-four years. “Wow. That’s beautiful, it gives me hope. We’d like to dedicate this next song to all the lovers,” Syd said as the venue’s lights dimmed and candles appeared on the back screen on the stage. The number ended with a duet between Smith on the drums and Lacy on guitar. During the intimate “Stay the Night,” Syd, Lacy, and Paige II sat on the velvet couch, performing to the audience in front of a starry-night background.
Before playing “Just Sayin/I Tried,” a song about Syd’s ex, the vocalist asked the crowd for some help, prompting everyone to shout out the lyrics “You fucked up,” at various points throughout the track. At the end of the song, Syd told the crowd that even though the situation with her ex was difficult, she moved on, reminding everyone that things get better, right before transitioning into “It Gets Better (With Time)” off of their new album. Syd opened up to the audience, saying that the song was written about her struggle with depression, and afterward, she dedicated the track to the late rapper Mac Miller. It was at the end of this song that Paige II took center stage, captivating the audience with an emotional rap verse, as the crowd waved their arms side to side in unison.
Toward the end of their set, the group played the popular “Girl,” from “Ego Death,” during which they made a shoutout to hip-hop DJ Kaytranada, who produced the track. Shortly after was the crowd-favorite “Curse,” the second half of the band’s song “Palace / Curse.” The beat, produced by Steve Lacy, combines a calculated drum rhythm with mesmerizing guitar riffs, and left the crowd swaying and passionately singing along. The Internet ended with “Get Away,” hyping the audience up before smiling and waving goodbye to fans. Even after the group exited, audience members lingered around the stage, chanting and clapping, and showing their love for the performers.
The opener, another LA-based band, Moonchild, made up of Amber Narvan, Max Bryk, and Andris Mattson, captivated the audience by playing songs off of their 2017 album “Voyager,” including popular tracks “Cure,” “6am,” and “The List.” Throughout their set, the multitalented artists frequently switched between instruments—lead singer Narvan effortlessly dominating on flute and saxophone. Her foggy, hypnotizing voice blended perfectly with the group’s unique jazzy, electronic sound.