I arrive at the Saban at around 7 p.m., accidentally dressed for a shiva: I haven’t showered since the election, and I’m wearing no makeup and a sort of roomy shawl that would appear in a Cathy comic about a manic late-night run to the grocery store. A few wildly attractive twentysomethings are milling around the bar — which was serving coffee and tea — sizing up each other’s top knots and strategically-ripped denim. Pastor Smith’s publicist meets me in the lobby and leads me backstage, where Smith is sitting in a de facto greenroom, chatting with friends.
At 38, Smith has the poker face of Paul Dano in There Will Be Blood, the fashion sense of an overgrown Bieber — carefully askew black beanie, wire-rimmed aviators, torn Rag & Bone skinny jeans, baggy white t-shirt, white Common Projects sneakers — and the upbeat charm of a children’s TV show host. “I’ve just enjoyed fashion my whole life,” he tells me when I ask if he dresses like this to ingratiate himself to his youthful flock. “There’s no way to explain it. So I didn’t change the way I dress or change my hobbies to connect with young people. This is me to a T. I have multiple glasses that go with different outfits. I believe there’s fall colors and summer colors. All I can do is be who I really am. Anything else is artificial and can be snuffed out and sniffed out by millennials in a New York second.”