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Friday, May 22, 2009

Last Night: Santigold at the Warfield

Posted By on Fri, May 22, 2009 at 8:21 AM

click to enlarge santi_small.jpg

Thursday, May 21, 2009
The Warfield Theater

Review by Jesse Ducker

Better Than: A bloodless M.I.A. concert

"It feels like the first day of

school!" Santigold told a screaming, full house at the Warfield last night, on the opening date of her national tour. "We've got new outfits and


Bay Area residents turned out in

droves to see Santigold, packing the music hall to the rafters.

And while a good amount of the fans were the to-be-expected twentysomething hipster crowd,

a few grey hairs and bald spots could be spotted here and there.


Philadelphia native and current Brooklyn resident kept the capacity crowd

thoroughly entertained for just under an hour; it's unclear

whether her brand new outfit (black Velour shirt and gold jacket) was the source

of her inspiration--although there was something to those removable shirt pockets... (more on that


The set was short, simple, and to the point, which worked

well. There weren't many wasted moments in what was a polished performance by the up-and-coming indie electro singer. When not running through

crowd favorites like "L.E.S. Artistes," "You'll Find a Way," and "Light's Out"

(apparently the first time she's performed that one in the U.S.), Santigold repeatedly

gushed about her band's multi-colored, Velcro shirt pockets. Meanwhile, her

pair of female "dancers" spent a good deal of time remaining stoic,

instead of, you know, dancing. They didn't really get into it until about 15

minutes into the set, when they did the "Superman" to Soulja Boy Tell 'Em's "Turn My

Swag On." It was a trend grabbing moment in an otherwise genuine concert.

Santigold seemed most earnest in her interactions with the

audience, signing a record for one fan, and shouting out her

alma mater, Wesleyan University. Besides showing love for the Wesleyan soccer team,

she gave a moment of silence for Johanna Justin-Jinich, the recently murdered

student at the university.

The concert's highlights, though, came when the singer got creative. She went from her verses on the Jay-Z collabo

"Brooklyn Go Hard" into "Shove It" (which the former song samples). She later

brought out the show's opener Amanda Blank to do a cover of LL Cool J's "I Need

Love," mixing it with her own hit "I'm a Lady." She also gave a raucous

performance of a song by her old punk rock band, Stiffed, shouting out "the

three people in the audience who've heard of my old group." The song

stood in stark contrast to her electronics-fueled set, making it sound even stronger.

Last night it was apparent that Santigold is

well-versed in giving the audience what they want, without extra bells and

whistles. She's also learned to keep them begging for more, which will be key

for the next time she comes back in town.

Personal Bias: My

younger brother went to Wesleyan, so I was eagerly awaiting her to acknowledged her former university.

Random Detail: People still wear bright pink platform shoes unironically.

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About The Author

Ian S. Port


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