December 5, 2018 at Paradise Rock Club
I hadn’t listened to The Internet prior to this past summer when I attended Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago. They released their latest album Hive Mind on the first day of the festival, and it was all anyone could talk about. I gave it a listen and was hooked almost immediately. A few of us from WRBB tried to go to an album release show for the record that evening, but it never happened. So when I saw their tour announcement for Boston, I absolutely had to go. The actual night of the show, I was sick and tired and wanted nothing more than to curl up in bed and sleep. Regardless, I was urged to go to the show and I am immensely thankful that I eventually caved and journeyed to Allston.
Paradise is known for having a ridiculously long and slow-moving line, and by the time I finally got inside the opener, Moonchild, had only a couple of songs left. In the short time I had to see them I think I decided they were……fine? I guess? They were jazzy and hip, but I wasn’t into it that much. They definitely weren’t bad, they just had a hotel lobby vibe that I didn’t quite dig. Regardless, The Internet came on very soon after they finished, and let me just say: wow. Some albums sound the same when brought to a live performance, and many have an unfortunate decline in quality when performed. Hive Mind, on the other hand, seems to be an album meant especially for performance — the riffs and runs and groovy bass lines that are peppered throughout the record fall flat on the digital recording when compared to the live experience of the same songs.
Syd’s smooth silky vocals paired with the band’s impeccable instrumentation blew my mind, and I immediately thanked those who pushed me to show up to this gig for their persistence. They brought out hits from Hive Mind like ‘Come Together’ and ‘Burbank Funk,’ and at one point they even brought out a fan to sing on stage with them (a backstory I would really love to know about). The recent hits got the crowd grooving, but throwbacks from their previous album Ego Death were even more pleasing, especially when Syd dedicated ‘Just Sayin/I Tried’ to a former love interest and then rocked the house with repeated choruses of “You. Fucked. Up.” Everyone in the building yelled along with those words, and it was a wild moment of solidarity in which all of us had some anger to get out, and then we went back to smooth grooving. Ultimately, this was one of the most talented live acts I have seen and I feel grateful to have gotten the chance to see them before they hit much bigger venues, which they without a doubt will inevitably do. Much like how their technological namesake already has, The Internet will someday take over the world.
Photos by Jason Crouse