Thursday night, the Hollywood Palladium was packed as Philadelphia singer-producer Santigold made a stop in Los Angeles on her tour in support of her new album 99¢.
People were still making their way into the venue as 10 PM approached. Luckily, Santigold wouldn’t make it onto the stage until about 10:15. As soon as she did, she wasted no time, kicking into the catchy “You’ll Find a Way” from her critically-acclaimed 2008 debut self-titled album.
That got people moving right away, and they never stopped. Santigold’s songs are packed with memorable beats. Santigold didn’t just let her music do the talking. She started out in a suit jacket-blazer type thing with a yellow handkerchief in the pocket. She had killer dancers on stage that helped motivate the crowd to match their energy.
“Big Boss Big Time Business” was one of the first cuts from her latest album that she played. “Big boss, big time business, make me your mark and I’ll take you one by one” sounds like it could’ve been a line from The Wolf of Wall Street.
Then it was time for “Unstoppable,” another old favorite. The stage setup was pretty interesting — at one time during “Rendezvous Girl” there was a screen behind her that was setup like a slot machine — but with McMuffins, great Danes and vacuum cleaners instead of 7s and cherrys.
Santigold would later undergo a costume change, returning to the stage in a white dress. Towards the end of the set, she brought a lot of the crowd on stage, warning them that if they wanted to take videos that they needed to stay in the crowd. But people that wanted to live the moment were welcome to join her, and they did — without pulling their cameras out.
For the encore, Santigold and her dancers pulled out shopping baskets and moved them around while Santigold sang — living up to the new album title. She was in yet another new outfit — this time a skirt that had her own face emblazoned across the front of it. She finished her set with the Major Lazer track she sang on “Hold the Line” and then “Big Mouth,” sending the crowd home happy.
Santigold has gotten better with time. She was often compared to M.I.A. but I think it is Santigold who is growing with each new album whereas the former has sort of settled into the same old thing. Santigold has got it all going for herself as a live performer — she’s clearly put a lot of thought into every aspect of her show. That the music stands so well on its own is great — Santigold could cleary stand on stage and sing and still deliver a memorable evening. The fact that she went the extra mile is an added bonus.
Words: Mark E. Ortega
Photography: Farah Sosa
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