Santigold delivers eclectic show at House of Blues

A review of Santigold at the House of Blues on June 1, 2009

, Managing Editor

Making just her second trip to Boston, Santigold, (formerly Santogold until a few months ago due to the threat of a lawsuit) brought her eclectic blend of music to the House of Blues on Monday night.

Along with her friends Trouble Andrew, Amanda Blank, and MC Spank Rock, Santigold rocked a floor filled with kids who came ready to dance, and look good while doing it. Santi, like her counterpart M.I.A., whom she is often compared to, is well known for her unique fashion sense. It appears she has inspired her fans as pink spandex, designer hoodies, and a fuzzy lime green jacket were spotted on the floor.

Despite waiting almost 40 minutes to take the stage after Blank’s set, as fans anxiously chanted her name, Santigold proved to be worth the wait, starting an instant dance party with “You’ll Find A Way”. She took the stage with a live three-piece band and two female dancers, all wearing in matching uniforms. Her dancers’ expressions remained stoic, adding amusement to their presence. The singer, clad in a purple and white jumpsuit, would show off some moves of her own throughout the set as well.

Touring with a live band for the first time it was clear that a few kinks still needed to be worked out, regardless of the boost of energy the band added to the show. Santigold’s vocals were drowned out during some of her more rock-infused tracks such as “Say Aha”. Thankfully, calmer songs like “Light’s Out”, where the bass and guitar were traded for synths, the vocals were more enjoyable. Either way the crowd didn’t seem to mind as they danced away to every beat that was thrown at them.

Santigold played almost every track off her spectacular eponymous debut album and also a few songs from her collaborations. After the dancers grabbed tambourines for “Anne” they got back to dancing for Jay-Z’s “Brooklyn (We Go Hard)”. Spank Rock grabbed the mic for a verse before segueing into “Shove It”, the inspiration for “Brooklyn”. A taste of Soulja Boy’s “Turn My Swag On” capped off the medley as the performers rocked a bit of the rapper’s dance.

After show openers Amanda Blank and Trouble Andrew joined her for “I’m A Lady”, Santigold took advantage of having a band behind her, playing a song by her former band Stiffed. Covering another genre, Santi led the charge like a true frontman during the fist-pumping punk rock song. The highlight of the night came next as Santi handpicked fans to dance on stage for “Creator”. A strobe light throbbed as the stage became a party. In a sea of girls, the few guys on stage surely stood out as one rapped every word while the other humorously pulled some Anthony Kiedis-esque dance moves circa 1991 (see “Breaking the Girl” video).

“Starstruck” started the encore before all the evening’s performers shook it up to Spank Rock’s “Bootay” at the butt-end of the show. Santigold’s hour long set flew by fast yet the buzz in the building showed the singer left the fans satisfied and fulfilled.
Santigold may not be a household name yet but she is certainly a quickly rising star. As her show has already grown along with the size of her audience since her last trip to Boston, hopefully soon the majority of people will recognize her music from somewhere other than Bud Light Lime commercials. As her reputation continues to grow, don’t be surprised if Santigold is a tough ticket to get her next time in town.

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