Photographs by Randall Vasquez
Sometimes it’s not the music but the atmosphere that makes a concert come alive. With Janelle Monáe, you can’t expect anything less than grand. Now back with a successful new album, The Electric Lady, Monáe was ready to send shockwaves throughout every city.
Starting the night off was Ghanaian-Canadian singer, Kae Sun. Radiating positive vibes with his songs like “Blackstar Rising”, “Lion on a Leash”, and “When the Pot”. His 30 minute performance sets the right temperature for what was about to come next.
The stage was draped in white with colourful lights and funky band equipment. A man in a lab coat appeared to set the all the “droids” in place. As the overture begins to play, Janelle Monáe was wheeled out to center stage. It was that moment Toronto was ready to be electrified.
She started off strong with “Givin’ Em What They Love” which immediately flowed right into “Dance Apocalyptic”, and “Q.U.E.E.N”. Watching Monáe performance, you would think she was the protégé of James Brown. Her dance moves and stage antics were like homage to the Godfather of Soul. Even wrapping herself in a cape for “Tightrope” and collapsing on stage for “Come Alive”. Sometimes it got so intense that it felt like you were watching an insanity workout, but it was an amazing thing to witness live.
Halfway through the show, Monáe signals the crowd to lower themselves down to the floor. She waited until everyone was to their knees before jumping the barricade to wander through the crowd. The moment was the highlight for many in the audience. Keeping up with her high energy style, she performed Prince’s “Let Go Crazy” and Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back”.
By show’s end, you were transformed and blessed with the electric funk. Janelle Monáe proved once again that she is a force to be reckoned with. She continues to break down barriers that set her apart from other mainstream artists. It’s safe to say that Monáe is truly an iconic woman and a brilliant performer of our generation.
Thanks to Live Nation for media access.