Santigold was barely a full song into her sold-out performance at the Fox Theater Wednesday night when she began to stoke the lovefest with her Bay Area fans. “You know you’re my favorite place to perform…you guys have so much energy!” In a different room to a different crowd it may have come off as a cheaply-pedaled stage sentiment, but the show that ensued lived up to her assessment: the crowd never stopped dancing and Santigold never stopped smiling.
At just 80 minutes, the show was short but sweaty…a scorcher of a live performance that rendered the ornate theater a tightly packed dance party well into the upper reaches of the balcony.
Working through her two albums of material, the Brooklyn-based singer showed off her vocal range as she was backed by a trio of Devo-looking musicians who kept the sound beat-heavy in one instant, loose and textured in the next. More notably (and often scene-stealing) was Santiold’s stage dancing duo: a matching pair of hype women gracing the stage with all sorts of rump shaking antics and too-cool-for school posturing (complementing Santigold’s ear-to-ear Cheshire stage presence to a ying yang-like perfection).
“L.E.S. Artistes” and “Hold the Line,” (her collaboration with Major Lazer) proved crowd-pleasers early in the set. Later, the stage was swarmed with fans as Santigold worked through “Creator” amid an ecstatic bustle of concertgoers.
Santigold had scarcely left the stage for an encore break before the crowd responded with a foundation-rattling ovation. They kept dancing as she returned for two more songs, and then, as she said farewell with the house lights coming up and Prince beginning to blare through the speakers, they just kept dancing. Santigold was no longer in view, but I’d have guessed that somewhere backstage she was still smiling.