Last Night: Santogold @ HOB, Anaheim

Last Night: Santogold at the House of Blues Anaheim October 13, 2008

Better Than: watching Austin Powers in Goldmember

Download: Santogold's "Your Voice"

An eclectic assortment of bands offered a little bit of something for everybody as Santogold, Mates of State, Alice Smith and Low Vs. Diamond rolled into the House of Blues Anaheim for the "Goldrush" tour.

Low Vs. Diamond came out with a purpose by unveiling their anglophile leaning anthemic rock tunes. I was looking for a bottle of aspirin for "Heart Attack" with its chest pounding bass and uplifting keyboards. Lucas Field (Vocals/Guitars) was mocking the lighting guy due to the rapidly flickering lights that he deemed were a little too "psychedelic". "Sister" was another steamrolling tune with fast drums and slashing guitars. It was a tight rocking set that ended too quickly.

The mood shifted to bluesy soul numbers with the expansive vocal range of Alice Smith. I thought her jugular vein was going to explode as she belted out some astonishing vocals. Alice was concentrating so much on singing that she rarely moved from her microphone stand. It was difficult to concentrate on her set as the amount of chatter from the back of the club was bleeding into her set.

Sonny and Cher? Not even close. It was the husband and wife duo better know as Mates of State. They turned up the keyboards and drums to drown the audience with their bouncy tunes. Vocals were volleyed between Kori Gardner (keyboard/vocals) and Jason Hammel (drums/vocals) for "My Only Offer" that included a guest spot from a trumpet. I couldn't shake off the catchiness of "The Re-Arranger" with its vocal harmonies and rattling piano keys. Cheers Mates.

A shift in mood occurred as songs from Sir Mix-A-Lot, and Dr. Dre were blasted. The crowd started to shift anxiously waiting for Santogold aka Santi White (Vocals) to hit the stage. It was like a powder keg of dynamite exploding as Santi ripped into "You'll Find A Way". I barely noticed that Santi was flanked by two dancers and a lone DJ due to her magnetizing stage performance.

"L.E.S. Artistes" quickly dispatched her biggest hit but the energy on stage only continued to surge as Santi danced around in her vintage KISS T-shirt. The crowd sang every lyric to "Say Aha" as Santi seemed to be taken aback by the fervent crowd. It was impressive to see her blend elements of dub, reggae, rap and electronica in an intoxicating musical mixture.

The slow grinding "Starstruck" had a dark driving beat interspersed with various laser blasts of synthesizers. The normally stoic House of Blues security guards were even bobbing their heads and enjoying the party. Massive chaos occurred during "Creator" as the crowd joined Santi on stage for a gigantic dance party. "Unstoppable" was the logical choice to close the evening. It is going to be tough trying to stop Santogold.

Critic's Notebook:

Personal Bias: I uncontrollably start to dance when I hear "Creator".

Random Detail: Santogold was rocking some gold flaked Reebok sneakers.

By The Way: Santogold is heading out to Europe to open for Kanye West.


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