Buzzkill's head of photography Emma Egan saw the ineffable Saint Motel when they stopped in Clifton Park, New York on the fifteenth of this month. Check out her review of the show below, and scroll all the way to the bottom to check out a slideshow of her photos from the night!
It’s no secret that Saint Motel puts on an incredible live show. From insane visuals to expert musicality, Saint Motel has made quite a name for themselves and their performances over the past few years, including their last stop in upstate New York with their tour, Late Night With Saint Motel, in 2017. This time around, Saint Motel introduced the world to their newest EP: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Pt. 1, with support from the LA-based duo KOLARS. With the stage set, fans piled into the Upstate Concert hall last Saturday with high hopes, and Saint Motel delivered above and beyond any expectations.
First on deck - KOLARS. The husband and wife duo stepped onto the stage as a sparkling decoupage of rhinestones, sequins, and the best of 80’s glam rock sensibilities, wowing the crowd before they even touched their instruments. The duo continued to mesmerize as they began to play; their sound an imaginative amalgamation of rockabilly, disco, pop, and blues.
And to make their set that much better, they had an irrepressible energy which got the crowd moving on their feet (to more success than I’ve seen from an opener in quite some time might I add). You would be hard pressed to find anyone in attendance who left the venue feeling indifferent about KOLARS, or without at least one of their songs already cemented into their favorite playlist. Their natural talent, paired with the new sound they provide is going to take them far, and I’m so happy to be hopping on the KOLARS bandwagon.
If there is one thing I love (almost) as much as Saint Motel’s music, it’s their ability to find a unique theme, and run with it. The tour, aptly named The Motion Picture Show, gave the crowd gathered at the Upstate a glimpse into the world of Saint Motel, through a cinematic lens, and their set, split into four “acts,” gave the audience the best of the groups discography, as well as a few surprises along the way.
Act One began with the group’s hit Cold Cold Man, led by vocalist AJ Jackson, dressed in clothing fit for the tallest and coldest mountain in the world (fit for upstate New York, too), and only went up from there, with Diane Mozart, For Elise, Sweet Talk, and Sisters. To say I was blown away by their live performance would be an insane understatement. Not only did they provide incredible visuals and tons of fan interaction, but they also played so. incredibly. well. The group, made up of Jackson, bassist Dak Lerdamornpong, guitarist Aaron Sharp, dummer Greg Erwin, saxophonist Fabian Chavez, and trumpeter Zach Ramacier created a wave of sound which filled the Upstate with some of the best live music I’ve heard in the past year.
Later acts, including one in which Jackson, dressed as a dictator led the crowd by torchlight, and another which included a crowd-surfing space journey cemented The Motion Picture Show as an unforgettable evening of absurdity and love for the music that brings us all together. While playing from mostly their two newest EPs, Saint Motel also treated the crowd to older hits, including Puzzle Pieces, Move, and My Type (which closed out the night with a unrestrained dance led by Jackson himself)
And, after a hit-filled encore, the curtains closed on the Motion Picture Show. As someone who first saw the group open for Panic! At the Disco in 2016, it was an absolute pleasure to see more of Saint Motel’s creativity and quirkiness on their own tour. In a time where live shows follow a fairly standard set of rules, Saint Motel created a truly unique experience for their fans that won’t be easily forgotten.