Monday, August 06, 2012

Janelle Monáe plays short, fiery set at the ArtsCenter

Photos by Kevin Norris
Grammy nominated R&B/soul singer Janelle Monáe rolled into the ArtsCenter on Saturday evening for a Young Americans for Obama event only announced two days earlier. Word got around, because a large crowd showed up for the concert which saw the Carrboro venue playing the role of a full-on rock club.

Monáe is a force to be reckoned with on stage. She has commanding presence, both vocally and theatrically. She is a woman possessed by the music when she's performing.

After opening with "Sincerely, Jane.," Monáe and her seven-piece band rocked a fantastic cover of "I Want You Back" by The Jackson 5. She followed it with a beautiful version of the Charlie Chaplin classic "Smile."

After electrifying performances of the hits "Tightrope" and "Cold War," an amped up version of "Come Alive (War of the Roses)" closed the set. Not only did Monáe dance like mad during the song, but as she engaged the crowd in a singalong, she commanded everyone get low to the floor before the song exploded and everyone jumped back up. She also waded into the crowd to party with the folks on a floor for a bit before hopping on the back of a masked man who took her off the stage.

Monáe is a hell of a performer and hopefully she'll come back to the Triangle for a full set in the not-too-distant future. Hopefully we'll see some more great talent roll through the Triangle as the presidential campaign really amps up.

Set list
Sincerely, Jane.
I Want You Back
Cold War
Come Alive (War of the Roses)

No comments: