show review

The Internet @ The Grog Shop 10/3

Nick Lotz

The show has started and Marcus Alan Ward is on stage. I had a brief opportunity to interview him before the show started and he told me his music was “psychedelic pop” and that it sounded “like Prince.” His assessment was correct, his music is psychedelic, and poppish, and does sound like Prince with experimental and electronic wailing guitars. He’ll be the first of two opening acts for The Internet, the band I came here to review, and I am not disappointed nor will I be for the entire night.

The second opener is Nicky Davey, and the crowd loves him. His show is upbeat, with a sound that’s a kind of funky 90’s R&B vibe. There’s quite a bit of dancing, so when The Internet finally comes on stage the crowd is very warmed up.

The Internet open with “Get Away,” and for a band that sounds so mellow in studio, their live shows have an entirely different, happier feel to them. The band is high energy and Syd tha Kid knows how to work a crowd without coming off as desperate. People are bouncing around and singing along “roll up and get ignited/let’s go to space.” They’ve got a full funk ensemble on stage. This show is to celebrate the release of their new album Ego Death, something I’ve listened to over and over and gotten to love a bit more with each play through.

Syd tells everyone to start jumping, and jump they do. The Internet, live, still maintains that 70’s lounge sound found in new age R&B, but, man are their live shows a hell of a lot more fun. “I know you love it babe/cause I’m a risk,” continues "Under Control"  the third song in the set, and at this point I realize the whole hip, young, beautiful crowd knows the lyrics to every song by heart.

Matt Martians kicks off The Internet's next tune with some pretty sweet keyboarding and the show slows down for a bit, the crowd with it, talking and laughing with each other like old friends. The entire ensemble just looks so damn relaxed on stage. It gives the show a very personal, down to earth chemistry, which is unsurprising given the nature of The Internet’s music. It helps that Syd has a beautiful voice, soft and light, and uses zero digital enhancement in her performance.

She stops the crowd and tells them the mantra to chant for their next song, and the whole crowd joins in on “Just Saying” yelling “you fucked up” when the chorus comes around. Then the band starts snapping and playing some really smooth jazz kind of shit “girl/they don’t know your world/be my girl” from the song "Girl". It’s groovy and low key and the crowd gives back just as much as they get.

Syd asks the crowd if they want her to turn it up. They do and The Internet does, dropping into a funky, groovy song with some really nice hard rock guitar licks “so good/so good.” The there’s a keyboard segment and it sounds like a freaking jazz flute.

“I don’t know about you/but I’m coming down,” and down they go with "Garden off Purple Naked Ladies," a trippy, soothing song. The crowd raises their hands and Syd lets Cleveland know she loves them as much as they love her. The Internet plays themselves off stage with some sick bass lines and as corny as it sounds, I do feel a bit of a calm, relaxed Ego Death.

There’s a college student standing outside of the venue after the show and my plus one suggests I ask him what he thought. His name is Matt Modarelli and he looks like my only competition for least cool person at the concert, so I feel comfortable talking with him.
“What did you think?”
“I thought the show was really good, thought they were really tight and Syd’s vocals were spot on. I liked them better than the real thing.”
“The band is fake?”
“No, like, better than the actual Internet.”