Santigold – Music Hall of Williamsburg – January 17, 2012
“It’s been a long, long time, and we’re so ready,” said Santigold to a sold-out Music Hall of Williamsburg on Tuesday night. While it had indeed been a good chunk of time since the world last saw Santigold, the singer-songwriter-producer’s performance last night made for one powerful tale of her reemergence. Complete with three different sets of sparkly, glammed-out clothes, mesmerizing choreography and notable guest appearances, it was almost as if Santi’s spent the past few years off preparing for this elaborate reintroduction to the stage.
Opening with the energetic and forceful “Go,” Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer Karen O joined Santi, making for a charismatic power duo. Santigold then delivered old favorites “L.E.S. Artistes” and “Lights Out” before playing the powerful yet restrained new song “God from the Machine,” off the soon-to-be-released Master of My Make-Believe. With the help of elaborate costumes and liberal use of props, including golden pom-poms, sledgehammers, ropes and twirling umbrellas, Santi’s mesmerizing backing dancers’ moves would have upstaged anyone who lacked her overpowering stage presence.
Closing the first third of her set with “Get It Up,” Santi left the stage to her dancers before returning in a black-and-silver striped outfit to sing “Hold the Line” alongside a giant white horse. She then welcomed a big chunk of the crowd onstage to dance along with her to “The Creator.” But it wasn’t just onstage revelers getting loose—David Byrne, the legendary leader of the Talking Heads, who knows a thing or two about over-the-top, well-choreographed performances, danced along in the balcony. Opener Spank Rock later joined Santi to rap through a verse of “Shove It” before returning once more to finish the two-song encore with “B.O.O.T.A.Y.” —Dan Rickershauser