Concert Review: Diesel U:Music Tour with Santigold and Kid Cudi at Paris Theatre, November 17

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Diesel U:Music Tour with Santigold, Kid Cudi, Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt, Jemina Pearl and DJ Mom Jeans
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Paris Theatre, Miami Beach

Better Than: Well, some were better than others.

Free concert. Free booze. Awesome time, right? Well, for the most part it was. I hate to complain about a free event, but there were definitely some buzzkill moments.

If there is any bias that should be disclosed is that I was there to Santigold. After missing her performance entirely at Ultra Music Festival earlier this year, I saw this as an opportunity for redemption. The full open bar also helped to convinced me to go out on a Tuesday night.

Upon entering the Paris Theatre in Miami Beach, it is amazing that this venue isn't used more often. Stark white, the theatre is gorgeously understated and laid out very well. It includes a pit, as well as a main floor and balcony. The stage itself was expanded by a circular platform that allowed the audience to crowd around the performer.

The night started out with Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt. Part Sesame Street, part Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, I had never heard of the act before that night. Not sure if I ever want to again. Despite being garbed in loud colors and intricate costumes, their performance was uninteresting and forgettable.

Same can be said for Brooklyn singer/songwriter Jemina Pearl. I hardly even noticed her taking the stage.

By the time Kid Cudi took the stage, the crowd was well lubricated and antsy thanks to the previous two performances and plenty of alcohol. For those who don't know Cudi rags-to-riches story yet, the MC reached immense popularity after Italian DJ duo Crookers reworked his track "Day 'n' Nite." After that, Kanye West came calling and helped him produce and release his anticipated but ultimately disappointing debut album Man on the Moon: The End of Day. His performance proved Cudi still lacks stage presence, perhaps pushed toward fame too quickly before proving he could actually work a crowd.

Santigold on the other hand has had plenty of music industry experience. She started out as an A&R rep and songwriter. She later decided to go into the music business for herself releasing internet singles "L.E.S. Artistes" and "Creator," which created plenty of buzz and ultimate led the release of her debut album Santogold.

Having seen her perform for a sparse crowd at PS14, just as the buzz was getting louder, I know she's grown tremendously. She kicked off her set with the Major Lazer track "Hold the Line." With a backbeat eerily similar to Dick Dale's "Miserlou," the track provided an energetic start. As she and her backup singer/dancers worked the crowd, they brought plenty of life to live rendentions of "Say Aha," "Anne," "Shove It," and "B.O.O.T.A.Y."

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: I think I was pretty clear that I was there for Santigold. Also, thanks to Diesel for the wicked hangover the next day.

Random Detail: DJ Mom Jeans (aka actor Danny Masterson) spun after Santigold's performance, but I didn't stay to witness it.

By the Way: If you missed Santigold, you have one more chance to catch her as she performs live at LIV this Friday.

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