It’s not very often that you see an orange couch and a coffee table on a concert hall stage. Yet, as R&B group The Internet performed a casual and intimate performance Oct. 22 at the Fox Theater, the living room furniture couldn’t have been a better fit.
The band’s entrance was vibrant. The orange of the couch popped in contrast to guitarist Steve Lacy’s bright green pants and bucket hat, and keyboardist Matt Martians sported a bright red outfit. The screen behind them projected a colorful animation, which included a color wheel and Hive Mind, the name of the band’s newest album. But of course, lead singer Syd shined most as she waltzed onto the stage, immediately hyping the crowd up.
Throughout the show, Syd and Lacy interacted with the crowd, whether it was yelling, “Hands up, hands up, hands up” or crouching down and holding the hands of audience members. This commitment to involving the crowd — along with the particularly long, 1-hour-and-45-minute set — showed that the group was excited to be in Oakland that night, delivering a love-oriented, interactive show.
At the start of the set, Syd asked the crowd if it was ready to dance and jumped into “Come Together,” which featured a fast-paced baseline and a magnifying refrain. The group was immediately able to establish its presence in the concert hall, with all five members of the band singing the refrain in sync. The beauty of their mass sound was that despite singing one line, one melody, each individual voice was distinct.
There were many songs in which Syd was the sole vocalist, and while her voice was beautifully light and wavering, at times, it didn’t pack enough of a punch. Perhaps it was due to the vastness of Fox Theater or the overwhelmingly powerful sounds from the instrumentals, but Syd’s solo vocals were, at times, too light and floating.
This meekness was made up for, however, by the lead singer’s energetic dance moves and immense charisma — at one point, a member of the crowd threw a bra at Syd, who took the bra and hung it on her microphone for the rest of the performance. Many times, Syd jumped onto the coffee table and continued to sing and dance.
It became clear that the group wanted its audience members leaving the concert with warmness and positivity in their hearts. To maintain the affectionate nature of the concert, Syd continuously talked to her crowd, saying, “Hey it’s good day” or “This is healing for me.”
The set featured the band’s more popular hits from both new and older albums, including “Girl” and “Just Sayin/I Tried.” For the latter, Syd instructed the crowd to sing a line in the chorus, asking the audience members to channel all their anger and intensity into the song, which is about an ex-lover. When Syd said, “What will unite a crowd more than saltiness,” the unity of the crowd and the band was apparent, as the intricate melody and strong baseline of “Just Sayin/I Tried” sailed through the venue.
In addition to the band’s main songs, various band members stepped up and took the lead for solos. Bassist Patrick Paige II spit out a short yet powerful rap, and Lacy took over for the song, “Beat Goes On,” carrying Syd’s energy into his voice. These featured solos provided refreshing variation to the band’s set.
The last part of The Internet’s set featured many slower love songs by the band, making for a less vibrant and energetic part of the show. If the group had continued with upbeat dance songs, its performance might have ended more spectacularly. Though these songs were a little more dull, the lightness of Syd’s voice fit these slower songs better.
As the performance wrapped up and the band danced around its living room set for the final song, even the audience members at the very back of the hall felt like they were jamming in The Internet’s living room.