I got to the Fillmore a little later than I had hoped, literally 30 seconds before Syd launched into her first song, and the audience was already pressed to the front of the room, with everyone trying to get as close as possible to the stage and to Syd, who stood alone in the center with just a microphone stand.
Syd performed alone for her entire set, with only colored lights and light smoke to give dimension to the white backdrop, but her music and her voice filled the room and the simple stage set-up only added to the R&B sound and smooth vibes of her songs. Syd’s voice is soft and melodic and contrasts to the more masculine aesthetic she displays through her physical presentation. At times throughout the show, the bass and other instrumentals overpowered her vocals, but when the music died down, her voice filled the room and sounded just as composed and flawless as the recorded vocals on her albums.
Syd opened with “Girl,” a hit from her band, The Internet, but performed nearly every song off her solo album Fin throughout the rest of the night.
At the end of Syd’s first song, the cheering from the audience was deafening, and she paused for a moment, looking at us and smiling and thanking us for supporting her before seamlessly moving into her next song. She held out her microphone to the crowd, and it felt powerful being in an audience of mainly beautiful Black and Brown faces all singing along to favorites such as “Shake Em Off,” “All About Me,” and “Over.”
She started with softer songs and the show gathered intensity as it progressed, and I could feel the energy of the audience growing too. At the end of the night as Syd was closing the show, her comments of thanks and love for the audience felt sincere. The crowd cheered again as Syd smiled, waved, and walked off stage.
The show was amazing and Syd’s stage presence was simple yet demanded attention. I would recommend seeing her perform solo or with The Internet, and listen to her solo album, Fin, below.