Janelle Monáe surprised the crowd with a duet alongside Stevie Wonder Sunday night. (Derrel R. Todd)
The summer season has officially begun, and the Hollywood Bowl has opened its gates. With the 2014 KCRW World Festival concert series kicking off this past Sunday at the Bowl, Janelle Monáe rocked the house.
So many things happen in Los Angeles during the summer, from screenings in parks and cemeteries to free concerts all over the city. However, when the Bowl opens its figurative doors, it’s one of those must-do items to check off any list. With outdoor seating and packing your own picnic kit with food and wine, the Bowl turns into a fun night for friends or a date.
Monáe kicked this season off with Seun Kuti (famed singer Fela Kuti’s son) as opener. With all her band members and back-up singers in white-and-black clothing, Monáe’s set laid the foundation for a ’70s psychedelic feel. Always theatrical, she was rolled onstage Hannibal Lecter-style with a straight jacket.
Once she busted out of the jacket, Monáe exploded into song and dance. As a performer that gives to her audience, she never shied away from bringing the drama. At one point during the show, she said she needed to go backstage and grab someone who is her entire reason for being where she is today. With everyone’s curiosity piqued, she came back on stage with Stevie Wonder. The audience, as you can imagine, went wild.
They jammed on stage and sang a James Brown song together. Wonder even went to the keyboard and killed it with the rest of the band while Monáe performed. After that magical little rendition, she went backstage during an interlude and came back on stage changing from her signature pompadour hairstyle to full-out long curls. Also, she switched her distinct saddle shoes for stilettos. The stilettos only lasted one song, and then she was back in her saddles shoes dancing away.
The Hollywood Bowl has a full summer lineup, so go and grab some tickets if you can because this is one L.A. must!
Hollywood and D.C. collided this past week when First Daughter Malia Obama was a Production Assistant on Halle Berry’s upcoming new sci-fi series “Extant.” Obama is about to turn 16, and the world is her oyster.