Fresh from the Glastonbury stage Janelle Monáe commands a captive audience at Castlefield Bowl for the Manchester International Festival’s (MIF) Opening Night concert on 4th July. The Grammy nominated singer, actor and songwriter (Moonlight, Hidden Figures) took to the stage with fuelled and energetic performances starting with Space Odyssey ending act 1 with Django Jane.
Monáe’s mash-up of funk, rap and pop displayed the talent that has made her the star she is today ending act 1 with Djanjo Jane certainly a crowd pleaser. The set at Castlefield was from Dirty Computer the popstars third studio album which dropped in April 2018.
The guitar lead Make Me Feel was a reminder of the late Prince, with her guitar in hand you could easily draw comparisons. A testament to her musical influences and being a known Prince collaborator. Boldly without reservation Monáe is not afraid to talk politics, whether it is about her “love” for Donald Trump or the treatment of Black queer women.
Act 3 saw one of her many costume changes dancing to Pynk was something to talk about wearing her vagina trousers Monáe added humour to another of her timely and important messages. Playing out with I Got The Juice where she brought the audience on stage! After the crowd went mad she returned with an encore of Come Alive stripping down to what looked like a leotard or body fitting all in one she jumped down into the audience to perform the song. Pop has a new princess… It was incredible!! Image credit Priti Shikotra 4. The MIF runs until 21st July.