Last Night: Santigold, Amanda Blank and Trouble Andrew at the House of Blues

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House of Blues
June 18, 2009

Better than: Watching this guy.

Check out more photos from the show in our slideshow.

Santigold, the artist formerly known as Santogold (whose real name is Santi White), stopped by House of Blues last night to deliver a scorching performance on the latter half of her current tour, which kicked off this past May in San Francisco.

This tour marks the first time Santi has performed with a full band, plus a gaggle of back-up dancers, in North America. So, yeah, there's a little bit of pressure on Santigold's shoulders this time around.

Yet, in greeting her eager crowd, she was all smiles. Practically glowing, Santi seemed genuinely stoked to be on that stage last night.

Elated, her first words to the roaring house were, "I've been hearing you guys [back stage] for a while, you must be fucking crunk!"

But, the crowd wasn't crunk. After scanning the place, Santi would have easily noticed that most of the screaming fans were far too young for alcohol.

Yes, it became clear last night that school is out for the summer.

(It also didn't take long to notice that Nylon Magazine had vomited all over the crowd, leaving them covered in all the accoutrements of hipsterdom. The excess of mall-bought concert-going uniforms among the audience probably had something to do with the average age of the crowd, as most people were without the venue's "Over-21" wristbands.)

The opening act, Trouble Andrew, entered the stage lit only by strobe lights. And, what appeared to be the act's mascot--a guy in an oversized skull mask--did nothing but stand there, blaring a fog horn for the majority of the band's set. The trouble with Trouble Andrew is that, for anyone not still needing a high school soundtrack, the band's performance becomes a bit been-there-done-that but with cooler outfits and better shoes. The band looked straight outta a scene from one of those "cool band" cameos on any of the T.G.I.F. shows from the '90s.

Next on the bill? Philadelphia-based, singer/MC Amanda Blank, who looked like she was attending a funeral, but had forgotten to put on her pants. Sporting a leotard, and draped in black lace, frills, and sporting an uber-trendy circle scarf, Blank belted out her lyrics, backed by DJ's Delvin & Darko (who later, with a brief performance with Blank, played an after party later at The Cavern).

So, by the time Santigold finally took stage, even if it wasn't crunk, the crowd was sure worked up and ready to party.

She opened her set with the Switch and Sinden remix of "You'll Find a Way," prancing around on stage in green high-waisted pants and a matching blazer. Her back-up dancers, perched on both ends of the stage, were in sync with one another the entire show. Dressed in metallic jackets and lavender rimmed sunglasses, the girls never broke from character, maintaining straight faces the entire show, much like in the music video for "L.E.S. Artistes."

Moving on, she preformed performed most of the songs off her self-titled debut album, straying only to cover The Cure's highly controversial, Camus-inspired first single "Killing an Arab." And she ended the night with an explosive encore performance of "B.O.O.T.A.Y.", accompanied by Amanda Blank.

Critic's Notebook
Random Note:
Last night's performance was part of the (RED) NIGHTS Concert series, dedicated to help eliminate AIDS in Africa. For more information go here.

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