Live Review: The Internet + Dreller + Luen – Metro Theatre, Sydney (29.07.16)

In town as part of Australia’s premier winter festival Splendour In The Grass, Los Angeles natives The Internet hit Sydney’s Metro Theatre stage and left the crowd frothing at the bit in one of the most satisfying displays and uses of bass in recent memory.

Opening the night was local DJ and quite possibly The Internet’s biggest ever fan, Luen. Knowing her pretty much through her Instagram and as the soundtrack to my late weekend nights over the past couple years through her work on Triple J, I was thoroughly impressed with the slinky mix Luen played to a small but eager Metro Crowd. As a warm up to the night, you couldn’t have asked for too much more.

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Acting as main support was Dreller, the new project for former Papa vs. Pretty front man Thomas Rawle. Moving away from the traditional Indie Rock sounds of his previous band, Dreller produced an edgy set of rock-influenced dance music. My initial comparison was to a slightly less frenetic and less danceable version of Cut Copy; which takes nothing away from what Dreller was doing. It was exciting to watch, as the crowd took in what he was selling, and look forward to anything Dreller puts out in the future. In reality though, everything that happened on the night to this point was only done to get the crowd warmed up; everyone knew what they were there for.

Entering the stage just after 10pm after a few false starts, The Internet wasted no time in getting into the sexiness of their set, with “Dontcha” an early set highlight. This is probably my favourite The Internet track, and the band definitely did it some massive props. Having seen them briefly at Splendour the previous weekend, I knew the band had built on their stage game considerably since their earlier visit in the year on Laneway Festival. They were a break out success then and continued where they left off back in February.

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Another early addition to the setlist was “Under Control”, with its slinky drums and the juicy vocals of Syd Tha Kid taking control. Explaining to a co-worker earlier in the day that the Internet are that nice mix of Hip Hop, R&B and Jazz, “Under Control” easily displayed all facets of those genres.

There are three things you notice about The Internet. The first is that they’re all cool customers willing to have a fun time on stage, whether that’s through banter between them or with the crowd. The second is their willingness to wear their own merch. You’ve got to respect a band that wear their own gear. Lastly, we have to talk about the bass. I’ve seen in excess of 120 headlining gigs and never before has the bass guitar ever been such an imposing and prominent aspect of the set. It was outstanding and flawless; nothing more, nothing less.

With the set heavily based around 2015 release Ego Death, you could tell there were plenty of new fans in the crowd. “Just Sayin’/ I Tried” was probably the stand out five minutes from the set, as the band got the crowd involved by offering to teach the lyrics to those who didn’t know. Syd Tha Kid is a super front woman, one that now exudes confidence and the ability to win over a crowd that may have taken time to warm to a show. This was most evident when the biggest track of the night, “Girl”, was dropped. As their break out single, the Sydney crowd frothed on the six minute long jaunt. Noting that her name is Sydney, and that she doesn’t think she was named after the city, I’m sure the crowd would have been willing to turn a blind eye if Syd told them she was. I definitely would have.

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The Internet are on an upward trajectory as a band. They’ve tapped into a sweet niche, and if they continue to release records like Ego Death and play shows like they currently are playing, there’s absolutely no reason why they won’t be playing bigger rooms next time they head down here. Just keep the bass. It’s all about the bass.

Images by Gwen Lee.

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