Full Gallery: Smugmug
What will be remembered as one of the top shows of 2013, fans of a rising soul/r&b singer packed the Skyway Theatre in Minneapolis. Her name is Janelle Monáe, and in the presence of Prince (who is featured on her new album Electric Lady), laid out a nearly two-hour set of musical brilliance.
Monáe was wheeled out to her spiral-striped mic in a straight jacket, on a dolly by doctors like Hannibal Lechtor getting a little fresh air. This was accompanied by “Suite IV Electric Overture” to set the mood and help her slip out of the jacket like a seasoned professional.
The huge, heavy and funky “Givin Em What They Love” (which features the camera-shy Prince on the album) drew you in. As contrasting as the black and white theme on stage, “Dance Apocalyptic” was an adrenaline shot of fun poppy swing soul music.
Later on, we were treated to wonderful cover of the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” and in the encore, some home cooking with Prince’s “Lets Go Crazy”. Guitarist Kellindo Parker (who I initially mistook for Andre 3000) teased up a lead into the blazing guitar finale of the song, and it was absolutely worth the wait.
When it is all boiled down, cooled, reshaped and inspected a second time, Janelle Monáe and her band, the production, visuals and the care that was shown from start to finish makes this an extremely exciting group.
Suite IV Electric Overture
Givin Em What They Love
I Want You Back (Jackson 5 cover)
Let’s Go Crazy (Prince cover)
Come Alive (War of the Roses)
What an Experience