It’s fitting that right before the Internet took the stage at the New Parish, the crowd roared into screams and cheers as Kendrick Lamar’s hopeful song “Alright” blasted through the speakers.
“Alright” was recently chanted at a Black Lives Matter protest after an officer pepper-sprayed the crowd. The song is especially pertinent to the Internet, a band that has publicly reflected on the endless police brutality in the United States through its music. In fact, frontwoman Syd tha kid wrote “Penthouse Cloud” after hearing the Michael Brown verdict.
The Internet grew out of the contentious collective Odd Future and consists of singer and main lyricist Syd tha Kid and producer Matt Martians. On tour, the Internet performs as a full band, with a drummer, synth player and bassist joining the duo.
Ego Death, the band’s most recent release, explores the idea of ego. For Syd, ego seems an important idea not only for herself, but to her fans and to the multiple women she speaks to throughout the album. From the bass-heavy opening track “Get Away,” Syd tells us she is proud of her success, but wants to retain her roots and vulnerability: “I’m still driving around in my old whip / Still living at home, got issues with my / old chick.” Still, she knows she “lives a life of luxury.”
Syd and the rest of the band preserved this beaming confidence and self-awareness to contagious success. Like the album, which is both loudly lustful and soulful, the Internet is a band of vast range.
The nuances of the music — from the funky, thudding bass to the celestial synthesizers — came alive as Syd quickly switched from sweet, crooning falsettos in opener “Get Away” to yelling with the audience.
Syd and the crowd emanated boundless positive energy. When she sang “Under Control,” a song about her dedication to her music and a relationship, she held hands with several people. The room was blooming with love. At one point, two girls ran onstage, hugged and kissed Syd, and then ran off. Syd embraced the girls. Under laughter, she muttered “I love y’all, Oakland.”
Though the crowd was undoubtedly there for the band, the Internet didn’t want to be playing and singing alone. Before “Penthouse Cloud,” Syd addressed the audience:
“This song is really important. If you have a flashlight put it up, this one of them moments. I need more lights.”
The room transformed as every single person suddenly became visible. Syd, in a dreamlike haze began to sing, “Did you see the news last night? / They shot another one down,” and a sense of community formed as everyone sang along.