Photo by Ryota Mori
A Neo-soul explosion
Given that all the word of mouth about The Internet was about how they’re an offshoot of Odd Future, with two members having come from that fuck-all-the-rules crew of nu-skool, abstract hip hop, I didn’t expect the show to start off as a neo-soul explosion. Even more surprising was that after a couple of songs, the set turned into a succession of mostly slow jams.
OK, there was still a bit of an edge. Fronting the band, the highly androgenous front-woman Syd tha Kyd has a high, boyish voice that’s somewhere between Jarimoquai and Justin Bieber. The backing band — two keyboards, bass, guitar and drums — laid down some serious soul grooves, and the best two parts of their music 1) bass player Patrick Paige II, who had it locked in so frickin’ solid; this dude propelled every single tune forward, whether it was hard rocking funk or hip-grinding slow dances, and not only the music, but the booty bobbing of every single person in the crowd; and 2) keyboard player Kintaro, who was a hilarious jumping jack, dancing the whole set on the right side of the stage like one funky monkey!
Oh, and the other good part was when Syd tha Kyd asked the crowd, “Ya’ll got Pokemon? What level you on?”
This was The Internet’s first ever time in Japan, so they played a sampling from all three albums to date. The crowd didn’t really know their lyrics yet, so the sing-alongs weren’t really happening, but towards the end, when Syd gave the crowd a “Say ‘Hell yeah!’ Say ‘hell yeah!’ Now scream!” She got exactly what she wanted.