photo by Marc Baptise
Janelle Monae had the house all the way turned up, electrified, and funktified all at the same time. Leaving no doubt in the minds of anyone who thought this small sized beauty couldn’t hold her own. Though she came in peace, her music caused some rhythmic (and not so rhythmic from the looks of the guy dancing next to me) convulsions.
Set design – all black and white.
Band’s look – Musicians dressed in white lab jackets while her background vocalists dawned black and white striped 60’s styled tops with black legging.
Music/Sound/Sight – All the instruments were well blended. I did take issue with the lighting during some of the songs because they seemed like they were out of place from time to time, but that’s just me. Hell, those kind of things really don’t matter when the rest of your body is movin’ and groovin’. I will say that the electric guitar player was so freakin’ awesome that I wondered from time to time if he was that purple paisley man…….you know who I’m talking about. He put the jaaaaaaaaam in jaaaaaamin’ (that was not a typo!). Janelle’s vocals were powerful yet sweet and majestic. She stopped to diffuse a situation that was happening in front of the stage, and asked the parties involved to hug. They did, and the party kept on going. GIRL POWER ROCKS!!!
She did all of my favorites Cold War, Electric Lady, Tightrope, Dance Apocalyptic, Q.U.E.E.N, and more. I’m sorry for not listing her set, but I was jammin’ so don’t judge me.
Opening Act – Roman GianArthur. Another new force in the industry. He started out with a song that was a blend of Prince and James Brown, sprinkled in a cover of “Bag Lady”, and hit us with a seductive bassy tune called “I-69”. The only downfall was him ending with a cover song. I would suggest ending with “I-69”; however, I honestly can’t wait to hear more from this guy.