Sarah Cracknell of Saint Etienne

Saint Etienne

Saint Etienne at the Henry Fonda Theatre, Hollywood, CA, November 3rd, 2012

Nov 05, 2012 Photography by Laura Studarus Bookmark and Share


Saint Etienne’s performance at the Henry Fonda Theatre on Saturday night can summed up in an excerpt from Douglas Copland’s essay published in the liner notes of band’s 1998 album, Good Humor.

“The words Saint Etienne themselves give me a similar feeling,” Copland writes. “One of a world in which all the women wear pearls and are able to sing in key, and one where the men drive sports cars and never stumble—a world where nostalgia is beside the point because all of us live inside a bright and glorious present.”

Even before Saint Etienne took the stage, the crowd was already cheering in anticipation. Given that the tour was the band’s first U.S. appearance in nine years, and Los Angeles was the last stop, anticipation was high. For followers of the London pop trio, this was a moment on par with suddenly realizing that Paul is actually dead, or learning The Doctor’s real name.

It was worth the wait. Ostensibly on tour to promote their most recent album Words and Music by Saint Etienne, the set felt less like a promotional stop, and more like the celebration of a band still creatively thriving in their second decade together.

And celebrate they did. Sporting a disco-ball style dress, feather boa, and ear-to-ear grin, frontwoman Sarah Cracknell commanded the spotlight—her jeans-clad bandmates Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs seemingly pleased to do the heavy lifting from the shadows.

Equal parts dance diva and cocktail party host, Cracknell shimmied her way through the set, playfully laughing it off when she introduced “Like a Motorway” as “DJ,” and complementing her bandmates on their beats, saying, “It’s like a bomb went off! In the best way possible!” She also introduced “A Good Thing” as being from the soundtrack to Spanish film Volver, before wryly adding, “You have to be careful how you say that!”

In all, it was a loose, joyful, and fun performance. Of course, for fans, that should come as no surprise. Yes, it is a bright and glorious present for Saint Etienne. We’re just lucky enough to live in it.

Setlist: 

1. Lose That Girl

2. Who Do You Think You Are

3. Burnt Out Car

4. Popular

5. Spring

6. Haunted Jukebox

7. When I Was 17

8. Good Thing

9. Sylvie

10. Tonight

11. Only Love Can

12. Like a Motorway

13. DJ

14. Nothing Can Stop Us

Encore

15. I’ve Got Your Music

16. He’s on the Phone

Encore

17. You’re in a Bad Way

Check out a full gallery of images here.

(www.saintetienne.com)




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