Santigold @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

It’s been eight months since I’ve written about a show! While don’t have much of a clue as to how that’s happened considering that I’ve been to tons of shows in the meantime, seeing Santigold with a little bit of Spank Rock (I got there a bit late) last night has made me jump back into this.

So yes, last night I went to see one of Santigold’s sold out shows at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. It’s been four years since I saw her back in 2007 at Steve Aoki’s Neighborhood Fest in Expo Park. Back then, her amazing debut album hadn’t come out yet, but she was building on the success of the early Creator/L.E.S. Artists EP (I had no idea what the L.E.S. was until I lived there three years later.) Not to get too nostalgic or anything (that was the first show I went to as a freshman at USC), but I only spent $40 to go to a show with Spank Rock, Santigold, Crystal Castles, Chromeo, Kid Sister, DJ AM, and The Faint! I think Spank Rock, Chromeo, and The Faint were the only artists with legit LPs out, and I remember thinking that Crystal Castles with Alice chugging a handle of vodka on stage were pretty out-there.

Back to last night’s show. It was exactly what I wanted it to be: fun. Obviously, you go to different shows with different intentions and expectations. I don’t always expect to have fun at the shows I go to. For example, I saw Girls and Real Estate on Saturday, and while it was a great show (Girls reeeaallly got their stuff together with their live show for the new album), I wouldn’t describe it as fun.

Santigold started off with “Go”, and Karen O. of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs came out to do her spot on the song! From there, the setlist continued with a majority of the songs off the first album and probably about four new songs that’ll be on her upcoming sophomore effort. Stuff like “Creator”, “L.E.S. Artists”, “Lights Out”, and “Say Aha” went off perfectly. The new material all sounded great. I remember thinking that while the beats were fast, her delivery was more laid back – like she was riding the beat more than on her first album. But that’s just a first judgement of songs heard live. We also got some of the tracks that aren’t Santigold originals like Major Lazer’s “Hold the Line” and “B.O.O.T.A.Y.” was the finale of the whole show with Spank Rock coming back out to perform it alongside her.

Aside from the awesome music, Santi has really put together a fully-fledged show for her upcoming tour. Along with two costume changes, she had two backup singers / dancers who had choreographed moves for every moment of every song. She also had a three piece band consisting of a drummer and two multi-instrumentalists backing her rather than just a DJ. And in my opinion, the difference that this makes is hard to overstate.

Like I said, it was a fun show. The crowd was dancing throughout, and it seemed like everyone knew her first album really well. Shows are so much better when the crowd knows the material. The artist loves that the crowd loves them, and the crowd loves that the artist is having a great time. That’s exactly what happened last night.