9.12.18

The Internet

Syd is thankful. She wants us to know that on behalf of the band she is a part of: The Internet. Saying it in between ad libs and repeating "thank you Montreal, I really mean it" all along the show. 

The ease with which each member of this band performs and their apparent complicity is a beautiful sight. 

Despite Syd and Steve Lacy having an extensive catalog of solo song, this concert is dedicated to The Internet's repertoire. Going back and fourth in between Hive Mind and Ego Death, you can follow the story line along the show with Syd giving the reason why/for who she wrote some of the songs she performs. 

Next to Syd, you can't ignore Steve Lacy. Moving with so much confidence and ease in his Margiela boots and rocking a hot pink velour shirt with matching gloves (it is "fucking cold" in Syd's words), he looks like what the word cool mean. Changing guitars all along the show, sometimes playing a pink one, a blue one or a green one, he takes his time to adjust them while Syd interacts with the crowd and reply to fans by telling them she loves them too before she sees Steve's nod from the corner of her eye to let the band know that he's ready to go. 

The set, designed like a living room, makes you feel that you are at one of their jam sessions. The kind of proximity that makes someone throw a box of chocolate tied in a red bow on stage. 

iPhone video capture


This vibe stays intact for the entire length of the show and makes you feel like you're hanging with some friends especially when you see Syd sitting on the couch while the Patrick raps and Steve performs a song.

Back to Syd's soothing voice when she sings the therapeutic Better With Time that she introduces by saying that she wrote it to help her fight her depression. Her ending the show with saying that performing is therapy to her gives even more meaning to her last round of thank yous, we help her feel better and she lets us know throughout the show. 

After a second 30-seconds ovation, Syd thanks the crowd and asks them if they have enough energy for another song. Not the usual encore scenario, no pretending. They're real and they're being themselves. Each band member with its own style and vibe, as if they were just chilling in Syd's parents' basement. 

The exact feeling they want to convey with this set design.

H.E.R.

Her show starts with the audio of an interview of her as a child listing the instrument she plays and saying that she wants to be "a singer, songwriter and performer" and her performance shows you just that. She navigates easily between instruments during the first 5 minutes of the show before letting her voice do the talking. She is here to stay and her performance is how she's going to prove it.

My favorite type of content to capture during live shows is video. It's the only way to show how in sync the light show and the music notes are. Each stroke of light is perfectly in sync with the music and help frame H.E.R. in a halo but always dark on her eyes, hidden behind big glasses anyway.

iPhone video capture

In addition to the light show, a few songs were accompanied by footage of her & her band on tour and showing the complicity between them, showing H.E.R. without her glasses for only a few seconds before the moment is replaced by another frame, like a blink. A few fans were added to the montage for the empowering 'As I Am' to (I'm guessing) illustrate how this song intended to make women feel. Genius.

Another detail that I noticed and enjoyed during the show is how her logo is her stage name "H.E.R." with the letters out of focus and a little glow around them juxtaposed with the artist standing in front of it in a halo of light similar to the glow around the letters and not showing her eyes. Having a look at her Instagram account and overall social media/media presence you realize that all of her visuals are mostly pictures where you see her silhouette but no clear shape, she's always presented as a mystery. Having her perform the song that propelled her to stardom "Focus" wearing glasses to hide her eyes and standing in front of a blurry logo makes you wonder if the logo will clear up when/if she decides to let us see her eyes.

I personally think she already knows when she'll let us see more of her. If she plans on doing it but her stage name standing for Have Everything Revealed makes it feel like that's the plan.

After being brought to tears by the crowd, she thanks us and leaves only to reappear half a second later rapping like a young Lauryn Hill. Maybe the ovation took time from the scheduled break before the encore.

This was an amazing live performance. And made me want to see her perform again and in the same breath made me understand that it's artists that are this thoughtful of every details that goes in their performances that makes me want to see them live more than once to witness their growth.

She ended her show by letting us now that she was "only 21". She's only getting started.