With her eraserhead band and stone-faced dancers in tow, Santigold brought the NYC masses a rapid-fire midday set that was heavy on Master Of My Make-Believe material on Day One of The Governors Ball on Randall’s Island Saturday (Jun. 23). Although her latest album isn’t nearly as warm and hook-heavy as her debut, the new songs are bristling with a grimy club energy when performed live, making the new cuts just as inviting.
The show started with her two dancers littering the stage with gold confetti like flower girls leading the way for Santi White’s grand entrance. Early on, Santi said she was a little sick, but that didn’t stop her from smiling and sassing for the whole set. She opened with Master opener “GO!” (sadly, without a Karen O cameo), before throwing a bone to the early adopters in the crowd with “L.E.S. Artistes.” By the third song, “Lights Out,” the crew had hit their stride, which was the perfect time to request that the crowd’s “very best” dancers come on stage. (She made the announcement while gleefully batting away beach balls that had made their way into her reach.)
Roughly a dozen young pretty fans in jorts, tanks and fringed blouses rushed up and hugged her before the band unleashed a filthy version of “Creator”. Next up, after shooing the commoners off stage, was a two-man horse costume accompanying her 2009 collaboration with Major Lazer, the excellent neo-surf banger “Hold The Line”. Whereas most bands faded in the middle of their sets on Day One, Santi brought down the hammer.
And here’s yet another reason to love her: She isn’t afraid to have elements in the live show that steal attention away from her. She knows her dancers are their own spectacle and a large part of the draw. So she joked, “We’re gonna have to split, so it’s just you and these ladies.” This is a woman who loves her craft and knows how to give the people what they want.
And yesterday, they wanted a party, so it was fitting she finished with a tag team of her more aggressive new songs, “Freak Like Me” and “Big Mouth.”
Short and sweet, just like Santigold.