Santigold is 43, and the energy she put forth at Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco in August proved that’s not even close to being old. Draped in a gold suit with Flamenco sleeves, highlighter yellow sneakers, a shimmering, beaded head scarf, and a bedazzled in-ear monitor, Santigold’s energy level was as powerful as it’s been for the span of her career.
Influenced as a child by Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuty, she went on to perform in a punk band called Stiffed in the early 2000’s. As Santigold, she blended her world of sound into dancehall hits, earning positive reviews for her her first record Santigold in 2009, as well as Master of My Make-Believe in 2012, and 99¢ in 2016.
Her punk attitude remains. Frustrated by sound issues that delayed the start of her Outside Lands set, White told fans she wouldn’t make them wait anymore despite the unresolved issue. She proceeded to explode onto stage with energy, swagger, and a booming sound.
Backup dancers dressed as cheerleaders moved robotically by her side, and Santigold’s glowing, set-long smile told the crowd that she was happy to be be there. Fans bounced to hits like “L.E.S. Artistes,” “Disparate Youth,” “Chasing Shadows,” and “Shove It.”
The highlight of the set was her anthem “Creator.” Before she performed the song, Santigold invited fans to dance on stage. Fifty people quickly took her up on it. She suddenly found herself surrounded by a twerking mom, a Marina-bro doing the worm, and dancing friends taking selfies. Unfazed, she Santigold belted out an extended version of her signature hit. The crowd loved the on-stage dance party, and Santigold herself laughed alongside them, swept up in the energy. It was a golden, stand-out moment of the festival, and proof that life doesn’t end after 40. Here’s to another 40 years of Santigold!