All Hail Janelle Monáe! Our Android Q.U.E.E.N.
Janelle Monáe rocked the Kool Haus in Toronto on Saturday night – and it was one of the greatest live performances I’ve ever seen. She truly is THE Electric Lady.
Hundreds of Androids, most decked out in their finest tuxedos, black and white stripes, suspenders and bow ties, danced and sang along with one of the most charismatic stages presences in the business. Sean “Diddy” Combs has named Janelle Monáe “the hardest working woman in music”…and its one of the few things that Diddy and I completely agree on.
Janelle is much more that that easy, breezy, beautiful cover girl. Don’t get me wrong, she’s gorgeous, has amazing style, and an amazing voice – but it’s her charisma, her impeccable taste in music and refreshingly different and smart professional choices that make her stand apart from other artists.
Fierce, fabulous, fun and funky – the show was a spectacle -an absolute dance extravaganza that had me and my fellow FANdroids reveled in for almost two hours.
As the show was set up, “Doctors” donning white lab coats, glasses, and bow ties made their rounds – checking equipment, the crowd and the band. The energy in the venue reached an impossible high as an ominous Doctor announced that “tonight, we would dance or die”. Janelle was wheeled out, Hannibal Lecter style, in a strait jacket and placed in front of the mic. As soon as the music hit, it was like a switch was flipped – so much talent and energy pours out of that tiny woman!
The set list was an incredible mix of songs from her new album, Electric Lady, her well known hits from ArchAndroid and Metropolis and and impressive covers of some of my favourite artists.
The Set List
Suite IV Electric Overture
I Want You Back (The Jackson 5 cover)
Let’s Go Crazy (Prince cover)
I don’t know how she manages to be futuristic and retro, forward and backward at the same time – but I LOVE IT. Her music is new and fresh while paying homage to greats like Michael Jackson, James Brown (THOSE MOVES!) and the one and only…Prince. There’s not one person who covers Prince better than Janelle Monáe.
She switched from loud and fast songs like Dance Apocalyptic and slow jams like Primetime – keeping the audience on its toes – what will she do next?! I had waited YEARS to hear Janelle Monáe perform Cold War –and it gave me goosebumps. She is criminally good live. Complete with a tap dance segment and costume changes (her clothes…I covet that wardrobe).
The “asylum” motif played out through the entire show – with the “Doctors” checking in on Monáe and the audience, watching from the wings and puttering around the stage.
The most breathtaking part of the show was when Janelle had hundreds of people quietly seat themselves on a dirty floor (in very close proximity I might add) – while she crawled stealthily through the audience – attempting her escape from the asylum.
The man behind me was in utter shock…”I only paid $30 to see this?! I should’ve paid at least $100”
I’ve never seen anyone command power over an audience the way that Janelle Monáe did. It was like we were hypnotized by her amazing presence.
She sang, she danced, and she crowd surfed! Such a phenomenal and fun show. The band (including the amazing guitarist Kellindo Parker) and the backup singers were incredible. Everyone had a good time. There was so much love and humour on that stage – complete with a set of James Brown inspired dance moves – with a full out velvet cape….hardest working woman in show business indeed.
The show was powerful and different. Everyone left the venue in a state of joy. Janelle Monáe is a consummate entertainer. See her live…and it’s dance or die.