Indie group brings their biggest hits
It was a cold, cold Tuesday outside the Ogden Theatre: but soon enough started to buzz with energy as concertgoers began to fill the space.
The stage was set for the opening act KOLARS, a duo from Los Angeles whose sound can be described as desert disco. Appearing in flashy outfits like roaring 20’s inspired attire, singer and guitarist Rob Kolar engaged the audience with an energetic guitar solo and a countdown to his wife and percussionist Lauren Brown’s mesmerizing performance. Brown used her feet and tap shoes to add a driving beat to each of KOLARS’ songs, an act that was unique to the band and their style.
While KOLARS left the audience’s blood pumping, they were quickly greeted with dimming lights, and a guide for the night called the Narrator. He introduced the audience to its first destination, snowy Mount Everest, where viewers were met with the hero A.J. Jackson, lead singer of Saint Motel. The atmosphere became cold as the band kicked off the show with “Cold, Cold Man”–Saint Motel’s top hit from 2016. Here the audience met the rest of the band; Aaron Sharp, lead guitar, Greg Erwin, drummer, and Dak, bass player and together, they encouraged the audience to dance and sing along.
Throughout the performance, the Narrator made several appearances to introduce the next segment of the hero’s adventure. The audience travelled through a battle scene accompanied by “Dear Dictator” and “Destroyer,” a more rebellious song from what the audience had heard previously. Jackson and the Narrator shared a dialogue to “get us back to where we started at the beginning of the show,” thus launching the band into a cover of Maxine Nightingale’s “Right Back Where We Started From.” This cover electrified the crowd and stage followed with dancing that lead the show into space.
Yes, outer space. Jackson donned astronaut attire and spoke to an alien on stage as the band slowed down to play “Save Me” and “Old Soul.” The band closed out the act by covering Sufjan Stevens’ “Chicago,” an early 2000s indie hit.
Following their performance, the band reminded the audience about their origins at Chapman University. Screens illuminated with snippets of collegiate hallways, chalkboards and a common area. Over the speakers Jackson ran down a hallway to get Arron Sharp out of class for band practice. The band played “To My Enemies” off their 2009 EP ForPlay and “Born Again” from 2016 saintmotelevision, beginning the timeline of their career. Following with “Van Horn” from their most recent EP The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Pt. 1, the room exploded as the upbeat song lifted the audience’s nostalgic spirits.
Ending the night with the song that put them on the map, “My Type” blasted through the theater with melodic horns and a driving beat that moved the crowd into a sea of hi-sways and claps. Jackson left the stage and moved through the balcony to greet and hug fans, thanking them for their time. After the band took a bow and left the stage, the Narrator’s voice filled the room one last time, “Tonight we were free, tonight we were beautiful, tonight we live forever.”
And that night, they did.