SAINT MOTEL @ THE ROXY

February 19th, 2010 |

A system of discolored romance and crazed vodoo infected Sunset Boulevard and the sold out Saint Motel show at the Roxy Saturday night. It was the second—now considered annual?—Zombie Prom, but the event did everything but induce a death-like state for its flesh-eating formal attendees.

Mobs waited in line, begging for tickets outside. Inside, the dark space was decorated hanging limbs, hearts, blood, balloons and an official prom photo shoot stand. Torn petticoats and tights, pink sparkles, red taffeta, pin-striped suits, tuxes and leprosy. I didn’t pay attention to the stage, even though it was so loud and I was dancing, until the a group of rotting female dancers stole the first half of the show with a sexy shambling undead dance. It wasn’t to “Thriller,” but it could have been. And then the moment right before the moment the crowd was waiting for—the prom queen and king were announced. By a show of cheers the two most physically decomposed fancy faces were crowned, and Saint Motel took the stage.

Saint Motel was a fun gig. Their music feels fresh, like poppy seed indie rock and roll with a tenderness towards celery and cucumbers. And then some hot soup. And then a strange hand formed caffeinated cracker that you eat without remembering to chew. I can’t and won’t try to pin point what they sounded like Saturday. Well, I might. After I talk about how gosh-darn adorable they all are in their almost-preppy almost-hipster button-down-shirt-and-jean ensemble, with each member just shy of a bowl cut sweeping across their forehead. They like having their shows with a theme, and it’s not to divert attention away from their music—which was crisp and clean, lively, loud, and tons of fun. Interesting lyrics—lyrics I could hear being beautifully sung and sometimes yelled. I feel strongly that they are on to something here—making a party of it, and engaging all of our senses. We watched and danced in flocks, we sweated, we opened up our wounds to Saint Motel’s killer beats. It wasn’t the zombie apocalypse; it was a good ol’ time, and face it, enough of us wish we had proms to go to with a high-energy talented live band, no expectation to actually communicate—zombies are completely irrational—and the opportunity to gnaw on a little human flesh.

Beth McNamara