Janelle Monae at Club Nokia - 11.2.13

See that picture there? That was my view for nearly all of Janelle Monae's performance last night but I didn't mind. What I heard, what I experienced was transformative, inspiring and life affirming. I think if I had a better view of the stage it might have been a complete life changing experience but for now the night will just have to settle for one of the best concerts I've ever been to.

Monae put on an unbelievable show, the kind that stays with you long after you've shuffled out of the club, gotten into your car and battled through traffic, repeatedly saying to yourself, "Fuck that was a good show" over and over again as you run through each moment in your head like the slideshow of a night that you weren't even sure you were actually a part of.

I've only given a brief listen to Monae's last album, "The Archandroid." I liked what I heard but some reason never gave it the attention it deserved which is odd because the themes and ideas she was playing on in that album all feed into my love of film and science fiction. Ultimately, I think that was to my benefit though since the entire concert was just one surprise after another.

Monae's brand of R&B is unlike anything else any other artist is creating right now in the mainstream. There's a bit of the past coming through in her sound and she clearly wears her influences on her sleeve (even performing a cover of the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" at one point) but it's all filtered through her own very unique sensibilities and tastes, something she calls wondafunk. I think what she's doing, more than anything else, is creating her own musical universe, not unlike what see in comics or films.

During the encore, I heard a woman ask of one of her girlfriends, "Is this a love song?" Of course it was! Every song Monae performed was a love song, a love song to music, to art, to the imagination and yes, love for one another but it was never trite, never tired and I think that speaks volumes to Monae's artistry.