It's official. Janelle Monae is amazing. The wacky, crazy-cool dance moves; the even wackier black cape she drapes over herself; and her anything-but-wacky, unbelievable pipes. She comes from some other world that only she inhabits, where people with high-collared, ruffled blouses, funky yin-yang glasses and forward-thinking hair roam. Most likely this is the world she channels in her album The ArchAndroid (Suites II and III), where she is an android from the future.
San Francisco's unreliable sun came through for the rising star as if to give its blessing, then quickly ducked out of sight again literally seconds after she walked offstage.
The crowd was right with Monae from the opening note of “Faster.” It was quite a sight to see the seemingly limitless audience. Luckily, Monae is not the type of performer to get lost in a crowd.
“Who's ready for the Tightrope?” she asked after a beautiful rendition of “Smile” by Charlie Chaplin that had the crowd hollering for each run.
Apparently one boy was very ready – jumping on stage to join Monae do her fancy footwork. It looked like Monae was about to grab his hand and welcome him to share the stage, but security swiftly responded and flanked Monae for the rest of the number. That's the tightrope for you – the balancing act of normalcy and celebrity.
Because Monae transitions seamlessly from one song into another, it was hard to believe she had covered more than an hour's worth of material when black and white balloons launched over the crowd, signaling that the set was coming to a close.
We bet she jumped into a black and white jet back to the future. Unreal.