Syd’s Sold-Out Special Affair in Chicago

Photo by Red Bull Sound Select

Another November night, another 30 Days in Chicago show by Red Bull Sound Select. The Internet’s frontwoman Syd sold out the Metro this past Wednesday, November 8, to share a dreamy collection of songs from her debut solo album Fin, new EP Always Never Home, and a few welcomed singles from her band, The Internet.

If you’re not familiar with Syd’s solo work, you might know the neo-R&B sound of The Internet, and if you still don’t know what I’m talking about, you probably have heard of the wildly youthful Odd Future collective, where Syd originally caught public attention.

Dating back to 2011, Syd and The Internet contributed to Odd Future tapes alongside Tyler, The Creator, Frank Ocean, Hodgy, and many other LA-based creatives that formed the strangely addictive sound and image that is Odd Future.

Syd has come a long way since her Odd Future engineering days, intimately growing into her voice and songwriting within The Internet, a soulful group consisting of young instrumentalists like Steve Lacy and Matt Martians, who broke through with their 2015 album Ego Death.

While Syd recently confirmed new music from The Internet is on the way, Syd dropped Fin this past February as a deeper exploration of her breezy, seductive style, and an opportunity for the band to play new music. Sounds good to me.

Since fans can breathe easy that The Internet is still very much together, we can cheer on Syd as she feels herself while winding down her first solo tour, with Chicago in full support on Wednesday night at the Metro.

Syd took the stage around 11 p.m. after two mellow singer-songwriter acts, New Zealand’s Bailey Wiley and Toronto’s Charlotte Day Wilson (shouts out female artists). In an effortlessly cool fashion, somehow rocking a puffy jacket in a packed venue, Syd swooned the sold-out crowd with everything from the Kaytranada-assisted hit “Girl,” to the sensual jam “Body,” to her new heartsick EP track, “Moving Mountains.”

What’s so special about Syd is that whether she’s accompanied by her band or mastering a stage alone, her delivery is raw and genuine, highlighting the intimacy of her story, making audiences everywhere feel like they’re both falling in love and getting played, all within an hour set.

Syd paused mid-way through the show to humbly say, “I didn’t expect to make it this far as an artist.”

From my end, it’s clear why she has. At 25, Syd has already shared so much of her love, lust, heartbreak, and self-doubt in a hypnotically relatable way. Her songwriting skills shined on stage, reminding the audience of how she’s able to bridge such complex conversations within The Internet’s insanely impressive instrumentation. (Check out their Tiny Desk Concert, here.)

With her casual delivery, I was reminded/inspired at how devoted Syd is to her craft while feeling like a hustling bad bitch as I vibed to lyrics within “Nothin to Something.”

“Don’t get confused girl I’m focused/ This isn’t news girl you know this/ Just be my muse for tonight I/ Might change your life so if you change your mind I’ll be/ Here.”

Crouching to deliver vulnerable, softly-sung tracks like “Insecurities,” Syd exuded a focused confidence under low lights as she interacted with the mellow, grooving crowd.

Overall, her performance was mad chill, but still candidly captivating as she paced the stage, mesmerizing the venue with the vice-driven “Dollar Bills,” and Fin‘s flawlessly-mastered centerpiece track, “All About Me.”

Syd ignited the room as she wrapped up her trancey performance with a mini-cover of Aaliyah’s “Are You That Somebody” that melted into the similarly layered Fin track, “Know.”

So if you’re looking to throw on an artist who helps guide your everyday grind, enjoy your high, seduce your crush, feel confident in that breakup, or remind you just how versatile the Odd Future clan has become, then put yourself at ease with Syd, and stay on the lookout for new music from The Internet.