Enmore Theatre, Sydney
Friday February 9, 2018 :
If the physical movement of bouncing were a sport, everyone that attended The Internet’s gig last night at the Enmore Theatre would now be considered elite athletes. Looking down from the balcony all I could see was a wave of bouncing bodies for the majority of the night until intervals of slower rhythms triggered some very sensual hip movements. Having seen the five piece just last week at the Sydney leg of Laneway Festival, I was curious as to how their show would translate in a smaller venue.
The crowd went mental as they opened with ‘Under Control’, the same track as they did at Laneway. It was an instant sing-along and I could tell already that this show was going to be special. An immediate connection between the band and the crowd was formed as they fed off each other’s energy. Matt Martians on keys simplified the ‘Under Control’ melody from the original recorded track by playing some super airy block chords possibly as a technique to fatten out the song for the live performance. Yet he maintained the character of the melody with little motifs added here and there.
Proceeding with more Ego Death, which is exactly what the crowd was craving (and Syd knew it) she began the first line of ‘Gabby’. Arms were up in the air, swaying back and forth as Syd sang the chorus lyrics “Gabby let me tell you something”. The versatility of her voice is remarkable as she switches from sweet tones to soulful raps.
Steve Lacy, what a legend! Rocking the same red dungarees as he did at Laneway, the guitarist/vocalist came out from behind his guitar pedals and gave us a taste of his solo tracks ‘Some’, ‘Ryd’ and ‘Dark Red’. His voice exhibits similarities to that of Frank Ocean yet his boy bandish DPA mic and high worn guitar gave off more of an early ’90s funk vibe. Feedback crept its way in a few times but to no hindrance to the performance.
The atmosphere steamed up as the night entered one of those sensual intervals I mentioned earlier with ‘Special Affair’s’ walking bass and wishy washy off beat rhythms. Heading back into solo ventures, Martians hyped up the tone again with his tracks ‘Diamond in da Ruff’ and ‘Dent Jusay’ off his debut album The Drum Chord Theory. “Don’t be a pussy, stand up!” he shouted as we were taken on a journey through the trippy funk realms of Martians inner workings. A combination of the synth sounds and chord progressions used in ‘Dent Jusay’ had this weird Phantom of the Opera feel to it. I was convinced a chandelier was going to fall from the roof at any moment.
Bass player Patrick Paige The Second took the spotlight and the microphone and began spitting out a short but sweet tune he’d written for a loved one. Then it was drummer Christopher Smith’s turn and I found out why he was wearing sunglasses the entire time he was on stage. As he began smashing the drums the lights changed and went into techno mode. One light being so bright that when it flashed in all it’s glory it nearly burnt everyone’s retinas. Worth it though I’d say.
“I want you guys to imagine you’re screaming it to your ex” Syd commands as she preps everyone for highlight track ‘Just Sayin/I Tried’. A song about lost love and ultimately someone who ‘fucked up’, no wonder it ignited passionate roars from absolutely everyone in the room. One thing that was very noticeable during this song were the level issues. Martians boomed over the top of Syd when he really should have been much further back in the mix. She has a delicate voice and unfortunately for most of the gig the band drowned her.
That didn’t stop her from sashaying around the stage as she led into one of her solo tracks ‘Body’ off her album Fin. The deep sludgy sound at the beginning of the track could have easily been misconstrued as a Banks song but then Syd’s soulful tone kicked you into R&B heaven. Announcing the now gold status of the hit song ‘Girl’ in Australia, the crowd hit a new level of insane. It seems like everything Kaytranada touches is destined for brilliance. As expected it went off with a bang. ‘Get Away’ closed the show prompting the last all in sing-along for the night. Banding together at the front for a bow Syd grabs a lucky punters phone and takes a selfi with Lacy and Martians but then drummer Chris Smith takes it to the next level and leaps off the stage taunting the crowd behind the barrier. Let’s just say those sunglasses didn’t make it.