I wasn’t particularly sure what to expect walking into Motion to see The Internet. I liked a fair few tracks from ‘Feel Good’ and even more from ‘Ego Death’, but I couldn’t help but think that the chilled, soulful vibe wouldn’t make for a fun, lively gig. Of course, on top of that, this was the first time I’d been in Motion where it wasn’t dripping with sweat and the speakers weren’t blasting out bass. In any case, my instincts were wrong, because the gig was great (with the exception of the fact that one of the band members wasn’t there…)
The first thing I noticed about the gig was the drums. I always knew The Internet’s music was largely groove driven, but drums really took a front seat, pushing a lot of the tracks forward and bringing a lot of the energy. Steve Lacy was really tight on the kit and wasn’t afraid to show off and have fun with what he was doing. He was shredding more than you’d expect so obviously I loved that, but his play style just made it hard not to move around. It was pretty key for the gig as a whole because the keys alone would’ve been incredibly mellow, so you needed something funky on the drums (and bass) to encourage the throwing of shapes.
Syd was great on vocals. She seemed really genuine in between songs too and interacted with the crowd a lot. It always helps you enjoy a gig when the band gets involved and when they actually seem like fun people, which was certainly true here. Her voice is great and she’s got serious range when it comes to hitting the high notes. When it came to the lower end, though, I couldn’t help but think that she lacked power. It’s something that might not be so noticeable on studio recordings because you can use editing to make everything sit nicely together, but on stage, her lack of power meant she was hard to hear over the rest of the band. I could be wrong and it could just be that they didn’t get levels quite right, but in her more natural range you could hear her perfectly, so I guess it was more to do with her voice than the sound team (although the probably could have fixed it).
The only thing that seriously took away from the gig was that they didn’t have their guitarist… I’m not entirely sure where he was, but it was a shame not to see him there. Even though guitar isn’t always a key force in The Internet’s music, I would’ve loved to see what he would have done with his parts and to see how the full band would have sounded live. In fairness they made it work just fine, using a backing track instead, and it took me a while to actually notice that the guitarist wasn’t there. Guess I was just too preoccupied with everything else that was going on.
I’ve been to gigs before where the music hasn’t been particularly fun or lively, and even though they can still be good, everyone wants to have a good time at a gig and I was worried that The Internet wouldn’t be able to deliver that. Honestly, though, I found it hard to stop moving. They seemed like a great group of people, are all clearly very talented musicians and put together a fun gig. Definitely a group I would like to watch again.