LIVE PHOTOS: Saint Motel // Los Angeles, CA

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Before the COVID-19 virus caused the unfortunate mass cancellation of all concerts in California for the foreseeable future, Saint Motel played a final sold out show at Los Angeles’ Fonda Theatre. It was the last stop on their North American “Motion Picture Show” tour, a live cinematic journey into the catalogue of the LA-based indie pop group and a nod to frontman A/J Jackson’s time spent in film school. This was one of the most engaging, dynamic shows I’ve seen at the small venue, divided into acts, complete with a faceless narrator and more than a couple outfit changes by Jackson. Opening with the plucky piano-prominent hit, “Cold Cold Man,” Saint Motel had the crowd jumping and singing along within minutes of taking the stage. From then on, the audience continued to feed off the band’s high energy; at one point, Jackson climbed down from the stage to venture into the excited crowd in the middle of a song, and another time he crowd surfed in a “rocket ship” (i.e. an inflatable raft) while dressed as an astronaut. Though most of the attention was on the enigmatic frontman, two of the biggest stars of the show were the horn players. One of the most enticing and unique things about Saint Motel is their incorporation of horns in many of their songs – a refreshing change of pace for pop music – which shines through even more during their live performance. The setlist was jam packed with hits, both old and new, including, “Sweet Talk,” “Puzzle Pieces,” and “Move.” For the big finale, Saint Motel was joined on stage by a mariachi band, and Jackson again made his way into the crowd to dance and sing along with everyone to the final song of the night and band’s biggest hit, the catchy and infectious “My Type.”

 

 

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