Janelle Monae makes Toronto feel special at Nathan Phillips Square

JANELLE MONAE at Nathan Phillips Square, Sunday, August 9. Rating: NNNNJanelle Monae was the perfect choice to entertain the masses.


JANELLE MONAE at Nathan Phillips Square, Sunday, August 9. Rating: NNNN

Janelle Monae was the perfect choice to entertain the masses in a public square as part of the ongoing Pan Am/Parapan Am Games celebrations.

Jumbo screens, gorgeously decorated stages, that cool illuminated TORONTO sign and fireworks leant Nathan Phillips Square the most festive of airs as the pop-funk wonder danced and sang.

After taking a moment to find her footing and for the sound technicians to get her voice sailing up and over her eight-piece band by second song Electric Lady Monae was proving herself to be one of the most fun entertainers working today.

She comes across as alien-like glossy in videos and photos impeccably dressed, coiffed and shined but live, the Kansas native is a goofball not opposed to doing a backwards somersault during Tightrope if the notion hits.

Of course what looked like spontaneity an extended PrimeTime with multiple crowd singalongs, getting the crowd to come down, down, down during blowout closer Come Alive was perfectly choreographed and rehearsed, and crowd-pleasing covers of James Browns I Feel Good and the Jackson 5s I Want You Back appear regularly in her set.

But she still made us feel special. And her introduction to 2010 single Cold War about honouring those who have lost their lives to police brutality Make noise if you hate guns seemed deeply heartfelt.

carlag@nowtoronto.com | @carlagillis

Brand Voices

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

NOW Magazine