Photo by Erika Goldring
The space in front of the BMI stage was full in anticipation of Morgan Saint’s set. The crowd was quite young and cheered boisterously when Saint entered the stage.
Saint instantly got the audience dancing with her ethereal pop beats. Her light, breathy soprano voice was flawless, delivering the lyrics as she danced around the stage.
The crowd loved Saint’s music. They danced and sang along, and one young man hoop danced in the back. The flowy, almost ambient music suited the relaxing Sunday afternoon after three long days of festival.
Saint’s stage presence is fun and active. She wore a bright orange, loose-fitting track suit that would not have been out-of-place at a basketball game with the fresh prince of Bel-Air. And her quirkiness suits her. She was gracious and sweet onstage, and shared background of her songs. Her personal stories endeared the audience to her, and they related to her struggles.
Much of the beginning of the set was newer music. The last few songs really shone as highlights of the set. Her singles “You” and “Just Friends” came back to back at the end. They were polished, bouncy, and very honest. Saint clearly holds them dear to her heart, as she spoke about their personal significance before singing them.
Morgan Saint is clearly an artist with a bright future. Her fans love her, and if she continues to perform like she did at Lollapalooza, she will only get more fans in the coming years.
Biography: “Hatred is not in my blood. Euphoria is what I feel in my dreams. Love is what I’m searching for.” Those twenty words at the start of Morgan Saint’s debut EP, 17 Hero, form a manifesto and a map for the music that follows. Saint’s songs chronicle of emotional thrills and crashes, and they challenge preconceptions – notions of how pop can sound, how it works and what it can accomplish. Morgan Saint can turn deeply personal moments into soaring choruses, and transform ear-grabbing hooks into intimate singer- songwriter revelations. Saint calls her music “moody pop,” and says her goal is to craft songs match indelible melodies to lyrics that deliver substance. “I want for it to be super catchy and stay in your head, but I also want to tell a story and have people relate in a way that’s real and raw,” she says. “I don’t want to be afraid to say things that might be a little dark or a little questionable.” The songs of 17 Hero are defined by luscious melodicism and bracing honesty. “Why don’t we be friends?” the chorus of “Just Friends” asks. “Why don’t we make out?” Later, over the swelling keyboards and bubbling percussion of “For God’s Sake,” Saint has different questions: “Should I just move on? Or were we brought together by fate?” It’s a cross between the directness of a text message and the disarming privacy of a diary entry. The five songs of 17 Hero track a process of self-discovery, in which Saint herself has become the sort of artist she says she gravitated toward when she was growing up. “During my dark times in high school, I always turned to music,” she says. “One thing that helped me a lot was just seeing artists who aren’t afraid to be themselves. I’ve always been a little bit shy. I never feel like it’s important to speak unless I have something important to say. And I want at this point to share my stories with the world.”