Santogold’s show at the Forum went off with a brief but very definite bang on a sweltering summer’s evening in the capital. The Death Set had kicked the night off with a disastrous performance distinctly at odds with all the hype. The levels were a complete joke and whatever they might sound like on their record all we got on the night was wildly indiscriminate noise. Apparently the front man never got the memo about the difference between being “punk rock” and a tosser. It is NEVER cool to climb a stack of amps as high as the ceiling during your second song while every last member of the audience looks on unmoved in disbelieving silence. That’s right, NE-VA!
By contrast Jimmy Sing on the decks was much better. His well crafted set of Baltimore club, funky house, dancehall and reggae meant that by the time Ms. White hit the stage at around 10.30, the crowd was well and truly in the mood to dance. And they weren’t to be disappointed. All the hits were there in every last bit of their eclectic pop glory, with Creator – for which Santogold handpicked a gaggle of audience members (yup, audience members come in gaggles, like geese) to accompany her on stage – being the definite highlight. Barring a brief lull in the middle of the show during which she showcased some down-tempo stuff from her recent and much lauded mix tape with Diplo, the performance was delivered with as much charisma and assurance as the audience had the right to expect for fifty-eight smackeroos a ticket.
And therein lies the rub. At nearly sixty bucks a head, it’s hard not to feel slightly jipped when the headliner’s set clocks in at under an hour. But I guess I shouldn’t moan, after all, what did I expect from an artist with only one full length album to her name? However, I have to hand it to her; she did put on a damn fun show. The backing dancers were genius, pure and simple. Clad in gold hooded capes, baggie black pants and sunnies, they have got to be the radest couple of synchronised body popping she-robots that this reviewer has ever laid his wizened eyes upon. It’s enough to make a man want to enter “So You Think You Can Dance” or at least watch it religiously on TV anyway.