Usually, when a show lets out at the House of Blues, I’m one of the many that can be seen gunning it for the fire doors just before the right side of the stage, the ones that dump out onto Lansdowne across the street from the Bleacher Bar and just beyond the tour buses parked out front. Leaving a House of Blues show in a timely fashion is key, especially when the Red Sox are playing at home: you can’t find a cab to save your life, there’s at least one couple having a fight on the corner of Brookline Ave and the T can be an absolute mess depending on whether or not the game gets out at the same time.
Though the Sox were wrapping up at Fenway around the same time as Santigold’s final number, I didn’t budge once the lights went up. Neither did half the crowd, as a dance party ensued for about 20 minutes amongst the crushed Narragansett cans and plastic cups. I was off to the side frantically going through my emails and messaging people on Facebook (desperate times) trying to remember who was the person who said they had tickets they were trying to unload for Governor’s Ball, the festival that decimated Randall’s Island just off of Manhattan last weekend, and the festival that made up Santigold’s last East Coast date on this tour before she heads to Ohio and then onto Europe. I didn’t care that I was stooping to the level of a Facebook message to try to score tickets for Santigold’s Gov’s Ball show in New York in less than 24 hours.
I. HAD. TO. SEE. HER. AGAIN.
The last time I had made the active choice to listen to Santigold was back when she was still Santogold and a cloud of gold glitter emanated from her face on her last record cover, so I gave her latest, Master of My Make-Believe, a spin or two before heading out the door on Friday night. “Big Mouth” and “GO!”, Santi’s collaboration with her buddy-in-arts Karen O, were the tracks that caught my interest out the gate, and ironically she open and closed with them, kicking off the show with a rousing rendition of the latter sans Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontlady cameo. Fun fact (!): according to a recent interview published in SPIN, Santigold’s the one who introduced Beyoncé to Major Lazer’s “Pon de Floor.” Santigold samples it in “Big Mouth,” as does Beyoncé in “Girls (Run the World).”
From start to finish, Bed Stuy’s modern muse delivered on the expectations recent accolades brought her way.
She and her dancers (+10 points for those sick neon fringed shorts) worked together beautifully, and when Santigold invited people from the crowd to join her and the girls onstage, they actually thrived amidst the clumsier moves of the concert-goers, dancing with adoring fans while connecting with those still gazing up at them from the floor. Few artists break the fourth wall in such a grand fashion, and Santigold was able to channel the energy of the room like a lightning rod clad in neon and shoulder pads, conducting a potentially dangerous force into a four-minute dance binge that shook everyone from the front row to the back of the house.
Sadly, I didn’t make it to New York to see her the night afterwards, but it’s cool. I doubt this’ll be the last big run of Santi’s for quite some time, and if this was the first lap of Master of My Make-Believe’s run on the road, I’m sure that more hijinx, more neon and more impromptu stage stampedes of the dancing variety the next time around.