Concert Review: Janelle Monae, October 19, Kool Haus

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It’s quite fitting that the setlist for Janelle Monae‘s current tour includes covers by The Jackson Five and Prince. After all, the King Of Pop and the Purple One are two of the more iconic figures in pop music with each of them valuing image and theatricality to their performances; in many ways, Monae is a worthy successor.  Basically, she knows how to put on a show.

Touring behind her recently released sophomore album The Electric Lady, Monae and her band ran through a set full of songs from that album as well as the aforementioned covers and a few from her debut The Archandroid.  Like that album, The Elecric Lady is a concept album of sorts, continuing with the futuristic themes of its predecessor.

While the songs are strong enough to stand on their own without any concept, Monae’s penchant for roleplaying and theatricality plays a large part in the visual presentation of her live show.  At the outset of the show, the band took to the stage dressed in white as a man in a labcoat introduced himself as the keeper of patient Janelle Monae, who would be performing tonight as part of her therapy.  Entering to music that was reminiscent of Bernard Hermann’s theme from “Vertigo,” she launched into a set that quickly had me forgetting my mild annoyance at the set starting about 20 minutes past the advertised set time.  By the time she ended her second encore with “What An Experience,” I’m sure all in attendance agreed that it certainly was quite an experience.

 

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Posted on by Paul in Concerts

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