Monday, June 23, 2014

Janelle Monáe is electrifying at the Hollywood Bowl...

The Hollywood Bowl season has just launched and last night Janelle Monáe kicked off the Summer in style with an electrifying performance from the Electric Lady herself.

Stevie Wonder joined Janelle Monáe on stage at the Hollywood Bowl
The twenty-something headliner was like a little dynamo on stage as she sang and danced about in her own unique psychedelic soul way, refusing to be pigeonholed as merely funk, soul or R&B.

Janelle Monáe arrives on stage in her own unique way
Janelle Monáe wheeled on stage Hollywood Bowl 2014
I loved her modern-retro aesthetic and her fun, quirky personality, and her expressive face on the big screen sold every song in the same way her dynamic performance seen on stage did.
Janelle Monáe Hollywood Bowl June 2014
I must confess I'm not a die-hard fan of the singer, I knew some of her songs and had seen her on some billboards before, but we were lucky enough to be invited along to see her in a box seat on a lovely Californian evening, and I'm so glad I did.

Janelle Monáe as a brand ambassador for Sonos music systems
Sonos Janelle Monáe billboard Feb 2013
I've already downloaded several of my favourite songs from last night and I'm listening to them as I type (but they don't have the same energy as seeing her perform live).
Janelle Monáe Hollywood Bowl June 2014
Janelle Monáe performs Hollywood Bowl June 2014
Roman Gianarthur opened the evening and had a great voice and knew how to put on a show, but the next act, Afrobeat band Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, wasn't as much my taste (not to say they didn't have their fans amongst the audience).

Roman Gianarthur opened a beautiful evening at the Hollywood Bowl
Roman Gianarthur 2014 Hollywood Bowl
Roman Gianarthur sings Hollywood Bowl June 2014
Fortunately that's where picnicking at the Bowl makes all the difference - good wine, food and being outside in a giant amphitheatre that seats 18,000 people.
Janelle Monáe Hollywood Bowl 2014
Janelle Monáe electrifies Hollywood Bowl 2014
Obviously it helps if the music or orchestra you're seeing puts on a great show, and I've been fortunate to see the likes of Kylie Minogue, Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand, Anita Baker, Liza Minelli, Kelly Clarkson, Maroon 5, Gloria Estefan, Donna Summer and more fantastic artists besides over the past six years in L.A.  
Janelle Monáe rocks Hollywood Bowl 2014
Janelle Monáe Hollywood Bowl June 2014
Janelle Monáe sings Hollywood Bowl June 2014
I'm not sure what got the biggest applause, when Janelle led Stevie Wonder on stage, much to the surprise and delight of the audience, or when she got everyone on their feet for her rendition of The Jackson 5's ABC (which she has the perfect voice for by the way).
Stevie Wonder Janelle Monáe Hollywood Bowl 2014
Stevie Wonder and Janelle Monáe Hollywood Bowl 2014
Stevie Wonder and Janelle Monáe Hollywood Bowl 2014
The blind soul legend accompanied the petite singer on a cover version of James Brown's 'I Feel Good', which I have to say was amazing to see and hear, and a real highlight of the evening (one of many).
Janelle Monáe sings Hollywood Bowl 2014
After a number of costume modifications, different jackets and even a James Brown-style cape, and all that jumping around of the stage Janelle released her signature hairstyle into a much more relaxed style and brought the evening to a close with an extended encore which included Prince's 'Let's Go Crazy'.
Janelle Monáe  takes a bow Hollywood Bowl 2014
I know I'm coming late to the party (which is nothing new), but if you ever get the chance to see her live she won't disappoint as a performer.

I only one other visit to the Hollywood Bowl planned this year, but after seeing Janelle Monáe play last night it makes me want to go even more this season... 

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