With the chaos that comes with putting on a show is the thought “What did I get myself into?” Days before the event, as I was flyering on bruin walk, I let my mind wander to a time before marketing for Janelle Monae–a time when I had time to spare. Did I even remember what having free time was like? And of course my biggest concern centered on putting on a show that did Royce Hall justice. Standing backstage the night of the concert I can say without a doubt that my concerns were put to rest: the show was amazing.
Adam Stern had the crowd on their feet with his eclectic mash-up of pop, funk, and reggae and hearts fluttering with every hip thrust to the baseline.
Not to be outdone, The Elevaters had the audience pressed up against the stage, waving their hands in the air. The live performance is truly their fortay.
The culmination of the night was Ms. Monae herself, whose short stature belies her gigantic stage presence. She threw herself from one side of the stage to the other, stopping only to fix her pompadour backstage, which naturally came undone from her high impact stage style. One of my favorite moments of the night was Janelle’s Beatle’s cover–bested only by her stage dive. I still can’t believe she was crowd surfing in Royce (and neither could the UCLAlive reps who attended the concert).
From the side of the stage I was able to take a few pictures but photographer Eric Chen, who was in the crowd, took the most amazing photographs. Below are some of his and my best but for more, check out the SCA fan page on facebook and Eric’s blog at http://www.erichchen.com/Home.html
Also, check out the backstage interview with Janelle at http://2dopeboyz.okayplayer.com/2009/05/18/janelle-monae-xiu-tv-interview-video