Saint Motel has been working their way up in Phoenix’s live music scene for the past five years, from having onstage dance parties at Pub Rock with their fans in 2014 to nearly selling out The Van Buren in 2020.
This tour, dubbed the Motion Picture Show and featuring LA-based KOLARS, is the world’s introduction to The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Pt 1 EP. It’s a new era for Saint Motel, one that’s a little less weird than debut Voyeur but with the same spirit.
It was apparent even from when the house lights dimmed that the crowd wasn’t about to get the typical entrance. Guitarist Aaron Sharp, bassist Dak Lerdamornpong, and drummer Greg Erwin walked on stage, but frontman A.J. Jackson walked out to the floor from the side hallway in a fur-hooded winter coat and holding a lantern while an invisible narrator spoke about a journey. As the story concluded, Jackson climbed up on the barricade and removed his hood to an uproar from the crowd.
The band peppered in favorites from past releases saintmotelevision and the My Type EP, but the narrator’s story continued when Jackson emerged once again from the side hallway carrying an inflatable spaceship. Fans were thrilled to help him on his voyage and hold the ship afloat in the crowd.
It was, indeed, like a movie, a motion picture show. And one more stunt closed out the set: Jackson performed “My Type” from the secondary bartop and then climbed up onto the VIP balcony. No stunt double required.
Story and photos by Taylor Gilliam