Last night, I had the pleasure of attending the Ottawa International Jazz Festival for the very first time in order to see Janelle Monáe. The soulful R&B singer from Kansas City offered an immensely pleasant performance in the heart of the national capital accompanied by her band, the Wondaland Arch Orchestra.
From the very first song, she graced the crowd with her beautiful voice and contagious energy. Monáe certainly delivered her material in a sublime manner performing pieces like Dance or Die, hit-song Tight Rope and Cold War, a personal favorite. She also included a Prince cover and did the classic song by Michael Jackson, I want You Back to everyone’s delight!
Her performance was highly energetic interspersed with a few mellow tunes, and she managed to eventually get the sea of people who were seated in chairs standing and dancing. If there’s one thing I can complain about is that there were way too many chairs and ‘reserved sections’ with chairs that stopped us from getting closer to the stage.
At one point, Janelle Monáe even took out a canvas on which she painted while singing. At the end of the show, she gave the painting to a man who’s birthday it was. It’s really the kind of performance that gets you on a natural high and makes you feel most alive and I’m glad I was there to experience it.
At the end of the show, the crowd definitely wanted more and everybody made enough noise for Monáe and her orchestra to come back on stage for 2 final songs. She concluded by saying she would be back and I’m already looking forward to it!