LIVE REVIEW: The Internet @ The Fonda Theatre

I was running late to The Internet. It’s never a good feeling when you’re in line to get into a venue, look up, and see emblazoned on a rooftop wall a video of a band performing inside. “Is that them?”

Luckily, it wasn’t (not completely). Tay Walker, 1/5 of The Internet, was on stage when we finally got in. “This is for all my ladies, cause ya’ll are a blessing”, Tay said with a slow smile. Unfortunately his charm only partially worked the crowd. The audience chatted quietly as the band played; couples swayed back and forth in time to the music. As talented as Walker’s vocals are, each loungey R&B jazz song moved quite seamlessly to the next, with little to no variation of tone. I felt my thoughts trail off: Do I need to hold this spot? Is there one opening act or two? Wow, that couple’s really going at it. The vibe inside The Fonda was extremely chill and I was beginning to worry it would remain that way.

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Then Durand Bernarr hit the stage.

“I love you girl, but I can’t miss you if you’re always around.” The crowd roared at the lyrics to “Around”  from his new Sound Check EP, the energy immediately shifting from hotel-lobby calm to college-party raucous. Bernarr’s presence on stage felt like a punch to the gut; he moves like a sprightly and seductive honeybee, flicking his golden scarf about the stage, engaging the crowd at every turn . He has referred to his single “Fly on the Wall” as “Brown Sugar’s Nephew”, saying that he thinks “D’Angelo might have had his hand in there somewhere.” I dare say that D’Angelo would be down for that comparison.

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Out of breath from Bernarr’s dancing, I leaned against the sound board, completely elated. Yet I also became a little concerned: Would The Internet be a snoozefest or a party?

The base line hit my spine during “Special Affair” and I knew I’d been silly to worry. The Internet presents The Internet was a mashup of high tempo beats and slow jams, a combination of The Internet songs and new material from each band member. Overall, the show ended up feeling much more like a showcase than a strictly ensemble affair; each band member took their turn at center stage, the lighting focusing the audience’s attention. We sang along to the songs we knew and encouraged new songs with shouts and hollers.

“A lot of times women don’t-don’t understand like we don’t be knowing what be on your mind. We can’t read minds. It’s just like we just wanna know what the fuck you want. Is it that hard?” Matt Martians’ performance of “What Love Is” struck a high note in the night, eliciting some laughter from the intro. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Syd’s “All About Me” was seductive and devious, the perfect date night grind.

The Internet didn’t do an encore, they had the night planned out.

Check out Syd’s Fin, Steve Lacy’s Demo, and Matt Martians’ The Drum Chord Theory. All out now.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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