Janelle Monae Hypnotizes Boston Calling


Janelle Monae at Boston Calling 2016. Photo by Ross Ketschke

By Gilesa Thomas:

If you have not seen Janelle Monae live, you are truly missing an incredible performance. If you want to leave a show feeling inspired, energetic and empowered, Janelle Monae is the woman to see. The black and white theme with matching spirals was without a doubt a hypnotizing display. Monae was wheeled onto stage foreshadowing the insanely great set that would follow.

Her set was full of infectious beats, dance moves and soulful vocals. I, personally, found it very hard to take notes while dancing. Her back up dancers and vocals were not a distraction, but instead added to the wonderment of the show. They grooved relentlessly along with her and kept the audience pumped up.

Along with her original content, Monae provided some amazingly selected covers. After Monae energized the crowd with her song “Electric Lady,” she asked her audience, “Who feels good?” She then covered “I Feel Good” from James Brown. In between her songs, she would deliver inspiration into the audience, sending good vibes through motivational speech. Monae sings, dances… she does it all.


Janelle Monae at Boston Calling 2016. Photo by Ross Ketschke

She dazzled the audience by using her full vocal range during her cover of “I Want You Back” from The Jackson 5. Monae followed it up with an extremely inspiring speech on equality and “choosing freedom over fear.” She really knows how to take her audience away from reality and keep them in the moment. Several close ups of the stage showed that at times, she amazed even her crew.

To keep the momentum going she performed her energetic song “Yoga,” and the dance party continued. Everyone in the crowd was dancing and singing. Monae utilizes a lot of call and return, and her audience sang their lines enthusiastically. When Monae said “hands up”, her crowd obediently followed! When Monae said “jump”, all feet were off of the ground. She really knows how to put on a performance.

During what can only be described as a beautiful way to memorialize the late Prince, in her finale she covered “Let’s Go Crazy,” and the crowd did just that. The show came full circle when Janelle Monae ended the show with a bang; her crew literally swept her off of her feet and carried her off stage.

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