The Daily Illini

Music review: "The Internet" brings new vibe to Canopy Club

By Frances Welch

It goes without saying that The Canopy Club manages to book and promote a pretty diverse bill of artists each month; some acts are more surprising than others, considering certain artists’ large followings (Young the Giant, Young Thug) and the rather unknown following of Champaign-Urbana (pretty much anyone outside of Illinois).

Known for its attraction to hip-hop, EDM and jam bands, The Canopy Club very rarely books — even strays away from — acts that lean toward the more rock, alternative, soul, jazzy, side of the music world which is more of a Highdive, Champaign type of deal.

But that wasn’t the case on Thursday night.

To ring in the first day of October, The Canopy Club graced Urbana with the neo-soul, alternative R&B, jazz collective, The Internet. After my 15 years of living here, it was quite possibly the best show I’ve ever seen in this town.

Touring their latest record, “Ego Death,” frontwoman Syd the Kyd made it incredibly easy to vibe to the album and sing along, no matter if you’ve listened to the album 100 times or not at all. This was also the case with the songs performed from their two previous records, “Feel Good” and “Purple Naked Ladies”.

The entire band’s attitude was relaxed and casual. They weren’t trying to impress with a trendy wardrobe or a distracting stage setup. They weren’t trying to visually captivate — it was clear this wasn’t their goal. They were seducing their audience by transporting them into the soul that their music radiates.

The Internet has perfectly incorporated jazz into their mixture of soul and R&B. Founding members, Syd the Kyd and Matt Martians, have done so by having some of the most amazingly talented touring members — you would think by the chemistry that they all had, this band was older than four years old.

It is without a doubt that these musicians have been playing music their entire lives. Drummer Christopher Smith, clearly has some jazz background, and if he doesn’t, he fooled me; one of the best live drummers I have ever heard. But to exclude keyboardist Jameel Bruner and bassist Midtown Pat wouldn’t be right. Those guys are amazing. The three each took their own solo to show off their jazz roots.

With the looks of The Canopy Club doing some renovations, as the canopy murals have been covered by long drapes of fabric and dimly lit blue light-boxes, the night was a jazz-induced, soul club experience. A perfect way to ring in the new month.

Fran is a junior in Media. 

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Editor’s note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that The Internet was featured in the caption for the photo. The caption should have stated that Nicky Davey is performing at The Canopy Club in the photo. The Daily Illini regrets the error. 

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