As The Internet, Syd tha Kid and Matt Martians are dead set on giving astral jazz and neo-soul a new life amongst the youth sect, and Syd’s cult following of anti-it girls have propped the band up for their upcoming second release, Feel Good. Syd and Matt both readily admit they are still learning, so it’s possible their live show changes and grows with each gig. On this night their sound was somewhat muddy and the slower pace dragged at some points. Still, Syd is an engaging if not powerful singer, and her lyrics can be poignant. They say that everyday’s a struggle and it takes time, but do they, do they have a clue? she asks on “They Say,” a thumping R&B cut about how dese niggas won’t hold you back. Backed by a five-piece band, she and Martians commanded the crowd with charm, and ended their set without any flashy solos, letting a spacey groove melt into applause.
Soon, Chance the Rapper’s DJ took the stage to hype up the crowd, playing a stacked set of of-the-moment club anthems for the auditorium of teenagers. “Bandz A Make Her Dance” specifically prompted some JV twerking that made me want to wash my eyes out with soap. Thankfully, Chance suddenly burst on stage to “Good Ass Intro” with the animation of a Sunday pastor. He’d earned his stripes touring the country with Donald Glover in 2012, and it makes sense that he spent a few months opening for an actor. Chance is both emotive and explosive live, and his persona comes off as strong as it does on his acclaimed Acid Rap. Soulful “Cocoa Butter Kisses” was a crowd favorite, and Ab-Soul came out for the slow-burning bounce of “Smoke Again.” Shadows of Eminem and Kanye West loomed as Chance darted back and forth across the stage. He’s clearly at home in front of an audience.