“We’re in the 6 now” – Syd the Kid
There are not many genres that don’t get as much love as they should like Jazz & Soul. Being that they are the original genres to really spawn the likes of many other genres to follow afterwards, they deviated away from the roots of Black heritage to become more or less forgotten by their own people on a large scale only to be taken over and reformed. There seems to be a new spark within them with the ushering in of a newer generation that is pressed to take back the sound and create something new for their own. Under the Odd Future label, which has their own defiant and rebellious attitude already, having been fueled by Tyler, The Creator, The Internet is a collective that goes the opposite direction of the music that fans were introduced to with the likes of Hodgy Beats, the aforementioned Tyler, Mike G, Earl Sweatshirt, and Domo Genesis, whom have all had considerable success on their solo endeavors. Syd the Kid wasn’t really looked at as much other than being behind the scenes, but when Purple Naked Ladies came about and people were hearing her really show off her vocals, it came to be a crazy surprise. Feel Good was a solidifying moment of growth of music and songwriting ability, and Ego Death serves as the next level up, having featured more known names to collaborate with. It’s no coincidence that they’ve been mentioned by many respectable media outlets about their music. After having missed out on seeing them perform in the city previously, I couldn’t bypass the opportunity to see them this time around. Being that it was sold out, I just knew that this would be the show to attend, so I did just that. It’s crazy how I met her with my friend, Amara, at the first Made In America (in Philadelphia) when she was just a DJ for the Odd Future set, and now I’m witnessing her perform on stage to a sold out crowd. Full circle, as they say.
Of course, there’s no show without the openers, and right as I got into the venue, St. Beauty had taken the stage. The mood of their music was relative to the vibes The Internet gave off, and obviously that was done on purpose (although I wouldn’t put it past them to throw a Trap rapper as an opener to get the crowd going a bit). I feel in love with the lead singer’s voice, and they definitely had the crowd on a wave that was infectious to a degree. I had no idea that they were part of Janelle Monae’s Wondaland label roster, so being that the connection here was that Janelle was on Ego Death, it all makes sense now. Going Nowhere is a cool song, and I’ll definitely be on the lookout for what they put out in the future, because they have something worth listening to.
After a brief intermission, L.A band, Moonchild, was due up, and again, I hadn’t known who they were or what they were about coming into the show. Saxophones and Trumpets on deck, the airy vocals of the lead singer were what struck at first, but the music itself? Crazy. About 3 songs in, I was ready to give them all of my money for their albums (which I’ll likely buy on iTunes). She (the lead vocalist) not only sung, but she had a Saxophone solo and even brought out the flute (when she wasn’t telling the sound operator to turn her vocals up). For the fun of it all, a cover of Erykah Badu’s Bag Lady came out and that got the crowd excited on another level. It was done justice, and just as my friend, Tia, was saying that she gave off an Erykah vibe, Moonchild’s cover came to be. It was the highlight for me before the headliners came to be, but it was enough to hold me over for the next 45 minutes before The Internet graced the stage.
Between the DJ playing some early 2000s music, blended in with Michael Jackson (and insert me doing what I do best at a show – dancing like an idiot), when it finally came time for The Internet to come on stage (on time, might I add), they walked out to the tune of Kendrick Lamar’s Alright, which is the Negro Spiritual song that has taken a life of its own since the release of To Pimp A Butterfly. They let the whole song play out before Syd finally graced the stage, and it was on like Donkey Kong (yes, people still say that). Wasting no time (no time at all), they got right into Ego Death. And just when I thought it was going to be just a few songs from the album then dive into Feel Good, they did practically the whole album, and I was here for it in every way. Crowd participation is usually limited to call-and-response or putting your hands in the air and waving them like you just don’t care, but Syd encouraged dancing by the crowd and made it like a party – which it was. Notable moments were when they performed Go With It (sans Vic Mensa), Just Sayin and Girl.
There was a lot of boogying on down and two-stepping. From the fairly young to the noticeably older crowd, it was great to see everyone just vibing out and no moshing or crowd surfing for once (which seems to be the norm at any show, for God knows why). It was taken to a serious note when all lighters and phone flashlights went up as Syd (with the aide of the crowd) sung Penthouse Cloud, which speaks to the thoughts and feelings of just how real God is when the senseless killings of unarmed Black people are more frequent. It’s one of the more touching songs on the album, if you’re ever interested in listening to it (I say you should). Ending it off with Dontcha, it was a party yet again, and the night was completed with folks being very much satisfied with what they’d witnessed, although Syd’s vocals (which she admitted) weren’t on point that night. Didn’t matter, because the crowd did a lot of singing anyways, which I loved. Nothing worse than going to a show and seeing folks all over not knowing the words. Good job, Toronto.
There’s not much more to say than that a live band, great vocals, and the emphasis of soul will make the people listen and love the music. For me, that show served as a considerable exclamation mark on an eye-opening day that saw me kick a lot of unneeded and unhealthy vibes out of my mind, body, and soul. I’m glad that The Internet makes that feel good music and also that they have one of the best albums this year to date. If you ever get a chance down the road to see them live, do it. If not, here’s a taste of what they did (in a smaller setting), and be sure to check out Ego Death as soon as you can. But for now, this is my opinion, this is my review
That’s My Word & It STiXX