As summer approaches, it’s hard to think of a more fitting band than Saint Motel to lead the groovement into the season.
The captivating quartet has crafted a unique sound that effortlessly blends their sun-drenched pop with a vibrant ska influence, characterized by intricate horn arrangements, synthesizers, and electronic elements that make for a mesmerizing sonic experience.
The band has released three full-length albums to-date, including “Voyeur” (2012), “saintmotelevision” (2016), and “The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Part 1” (2020), and the EPs “ForPlay” (2009) and “My Type” (2015). They have toured extensively, performing at festivals such as Coachella, Lollapalooza, and Outside Lands, gaining major recognition around 2015. This latest tour is a celebration of their most popular music, taking their followers’ input into the creation of the setlist and allowing nostalgic favorites a chance to return to the live performances. As opposed to focusing on just one album, they play off of the cinematic quality woven throughout their songs and accompanying music videos.
We caught their final show of their ‘Awards Tour’ on May 1st at Webster Hall. As the band took the stage in their jewel toned suits, the audience was transported to a world that embodied the ceremonious theme of the tour. At intervals throughout the show, the ‘nominees’ for the next track were projected onto the back of the stage, with the winner being voted on by fans and presented by members of the band and their team.
The set included their recently released track, “Everyone’s a Guru Now,” which showcases a cleaner and more polished, pop-forward sound than their previous, grungier tracks. Nevertheless, the band’s hallmark rhythm and brass elements are still present, ensuring that the vibe doesn’t stray too far from the unique sound that has endeared them to their fans.
The encore featured lead vocalist and guitarist A/J Jackson venturing onto the floor of Webster Hall as the band delivered a rousing performance of their breakout hit, “My Type.” The crowd responded with an electric energy, singing along to every word, jumping and dancing with enthusiasm.
When there’s loving in the air
Don’t fight it, just keep breathing
I can’t help myself but stare
Double check for double meanings
I’m a man who’s got very specific taste
Saint Motel and their fans fed off of each other’s energy, delivering a truly unforgettable performance.
📸: shot by Jill Boyastis