Thanks to the Illinois Lottery for tickets to see Janelle Monae in concert in line with their #APMusicSeries. All thoughts and views are my own.
Because I’m super excited about being able to attend a SECOND concert in my life, I’ll go ahead now and apologize for the fact that I don’t have a super zoom lens on my cell phone. -_- You’ve been warned. The photos will be grainy at best, but you will LIVE when you glean all of the excitement of my seeing Janelle Monae at the Taste of Chicago this week. THE WOMAN IS A MUSICAL BEAST. I will say this, Ms. Monae has the energy of 10 of my Twizzlers, and I am here for it.
Her opening act was Gary Clark Jr., and he set the tone with a mixture of bluesy vocals and guitar riffs, and smooth R&B sounds. It was my first time hearing of Clark, and now he’s on my list of artists to really tune in to. From my research, I see that he won an Emmy this year as well! Congratulations to him!
I’m not sure what to say about the performance of Janelle Monae though. It started out high energy and ended high energy. She performed her top singles, and even mixed in some Jackson 5 and Prince. PRINCE AND MICHAEL JACKSON y’all! The woman knows good music. She stayed true to her uniform of black and white and even with outfit changes, she kept the focus on the music, NOT her clothing. I appreciate when an artist can do that. I realize that I’m becoming more and more old school when it comes to my entertainment, and Monae plays right into what I love.
I do know that I found out about her through Mr. Houseful, once again – he’s the real music lover in the house, I think that I just came around by association – and it was her song Tightrope. There was something about it. The fact that she was in a tuxedo, in a mental ward being followed around by two mystical creatures with mirrors for their faces. It also didn’t hurt that she had Big Boi featured in the video. She didn’t make any apologies about being different, and that HUGE bouffant hanging from the front of her head just screamed LOOK AT ME! I don’t care if I look different! I was enthralled. She wasn’t getting huge play on the stations, but she was creating buzz wherever and whenever she performed. THEN, with honoring Prince, and having him give her a standing ovation, we knew we had a great artist.
Back to the Taste of Chicago performance. Monae, gave us a wonderful performance of Electric Lady that got us all dancing, and Tightrope which reminded us why we fell in love with her in the first place. She also spoke to the violence in Chicago, and asked us to stop it, because our children are too important. It was a thought-provoking portion of the concert, and gave pause to all attendees.
What really impressed me is the fact that she performed for a solid hour and 45 minutes without even appearing like she had enough. There weren’t any gimmicks, or pyrotechnics to keep our focus off of the artist of the hour (or two)
I thoroughly enjoyed myself, even if I didn’t have the camera lens to prove it! Don’t worry, I won’t leave you all out to dry the next time something phenomenal like this happens. We’re upgrading in our Houseful of Nicholes photography kits!