Santigold takes capitalism to a new level

Santi White, also known as Santigold, at her sold out show at the Vogue Theatre Thursday night. Photography by Craig Fleisch.

After enduring a month-long postponement, fans lined up eager to hear Santi White, also known as Santigold, at her sold out show at Vogue Theatre Thursday night. The delay, caused when she lost her voice and was forced to reschedule several shows last month,  proved well worth the wait, as she delivered a truly arresting performance. 

Confidence showed in the Brooklyn native's understated swagger across stage; a cool, assiduous hustle. She was adorned on either side by her motionless backup dancers in shades, reclining on inflatables and sipping something tropical.

She kicked things off with "You'll Find a Way"; and the infused reggae bounce got the crowd moving immediately. 

A quick wardrobe change between "Banshee" and "Lights Out" saw Santigold emerge in a canary yellow long sleeve tube dress emblazoned with her tour's namesake, "We Buy Gold" in bold black letterforms.

Everything, in fact, remained on the 99¢ brand throughout the evening. It was gaudy, in such an intentional way that it came across as tastefully irreverent.

Drawing heavily upon the work of photographer Andreas Gursky's seminal piece "99 Cent II Diptychon" (2001), Santigold's projected visuals included reoccurring motifs of dollar store / infomercial sales pitches. Backdrops of grocery store aisles time-lapses and price-tags accompanied her lyrical inquiry of the role of art in a hyper-consumeristic and self-aware culture.

Inviting a throng of eager crowd members up on stage to dance to "Creator", the Big Boss insisted, "I only have one rule: no phones, no cameras. Live in the moment."

An interesting pronouncement, juxtaposing her backup dancers' use of selfie sticks prior in the set. Here Santigold reveals her true intention; using the very medium she is critiquing to lament a shrink-wrapped narcissism.

The set feverishly crescendoed with crowd-favourite "Disparate Youth". There was a well-timed release of a bubble machine, subtly matching the shampoo bottle imagery.

She kept the high-energy fans on their toes through the rest of the set and two encore songs, finishing the evening with "Big Mouth".

Amidst the swagger, hype and glam, a subtending expression of authentic graciousness was extended continually to the audience. They wanted what she was selling.

 

Evening Setlist:

1. You'll Find a Way

2. L.E.S. Artistes

3. Big Boss Big Time Business

4. Banshee

5. Lights Out

6. Say Aha

7. Unstoppable

8. Freak Like Me

9. Rendezvous Girl

10. Who Be Lovin Me

11. Chasing Shadows

12. Disparate Youth

13. Creator

14. Go!

15. All I Got

16. Who I Thought You Were 

17. Brooklyn Go Hard

18. Shove It

19. Can't Get Enough of Myself

Encore:

20. Hold The Line

21. Big Mouth

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