Janelle Monáe: Age of Pleasure Tour Shakes Up Houston
Written by Isha Merchant, Leydi Gonzalez on October 17, 2023
About 20 minutes before Monáe was scheduled to appear on stage, her voice echoed through the speakers, asking the audience to strike their best dance pose building anticipation within the audience. Soon, a live band came on stage, and began playing a lively jazz tune as Monáe entered the stage wearing an oversized coat adorned with flowers, paired with thigh high boots bringing a frenzy to the crowd. It was an explosion of color as the set was revealed to be as equally colorful as her outfit. The artist led into the song “Float”, followed by “Champagne Shit”.
Monáe began the show with a speech, dedicating her performance,
…to the lives we lead, the dreams we dream…to the fucked up shit we experience…you will think about the now.Janelle Monáe
Before she revealed her first outfit change of the night into a black leotard, Monáe immediately began her song “Phenomenal” in which she had the fans shout along to the famous lyric “fine as fuck”. The singer and her backup dancers performed insane choreography, matching each beat of the song amazingly.
After an interlude accompanied with the live jazz band performing on stage, Monáe revealed another outfit, this time dressed in a black dress with a red, wide brimmed hat, which is her signature style, and black boots. Her backup dancers were dressed similarly, wearing white halter tops and black shorts paired with a red beret. It was stunning to look at how intensely thought out the entire performance was.
Monáe led into the song “Q.U.E.E.N.” in which she bent over and sang between her legs as she twerked to the lyrics “booty don’t lie”, causing the crowd to go crazy with cheers. Because of how loud the crowd was cheering, the singer fake fell to demonstrate how passionate the crowd was as they metaphorically “knocked her over”. She repeated over and over “did you do that?” to the crowd as they tried to cheer louder to see her continue with her shtick.
After her next interlude, Monáe appeared back on stage wearing an all pink swimsuit and cover up as she sang “Pynk”. The artist then performed “Yoga” which followed a summer time theme as seen by the amazing set; paired with beach balls and straw hats for the back up dancers. At this point, the crowd had burst into full on dance as the singer had an infectious energy that lit up the crowd. Around then, the performer asked the crowd “who out here can match our energy”, and began picking fans out of the crowd to dance along on stage.
As fans were being picked out, a girl ran straight to a backup dancer, begging her to be on stage. Eventually, the girl was picked to dance alongside Monáe. As she introduced herself, the fan said confidently, “I’m from Houston motherf*cking Texas”, causing the crowd to cheer with insane pride. The fans and Monáe danced to her legendary song “Paid in Pleasure”.
Tonight we are centering love, the love we have for ourselves and each other…I want to celebrate your journey…no one knows what you have taken to get to this part of your journey.Janelle Monáe
The signer dedicated her last song “I Like That” to her fans. Followed by an encore of “Make Me Feel” and “Tightrope”. Overall Monáe’s performance at Bayou Music Center was not one to miss as she put on the performance of a lifetime. Check out other Female Artists from an article one of our fellow Coogs wrote back in 2019.