Janelle Monáe‘s Age of Pleasure tour stopped in NYC on Tuesday night (9/26) for the first of two shows, one in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn. Janelle called Tuesday night’s location, Radio City Music Hall, especially meaningful, and recalled, her eyes filling with tears, attending performing arts high school in NYC and wondering if she’d ever perform at the venue. Fast forward through nearly two decades of an acclaimed career that’s spanned music and acting, and she absolutely commands the grand stage for a spectacle of costume changes and good vibes.
Broken into different chapters, each with their own themed outfits and accompanying visuals, most of Tuesday night’s setlist focused on this year’s fantastic The Age of Pleasure. Janelle described her current “pleasure era” as the result of being able to inhabit a safe space created “for us, by us,” to huge cheers from the crowd. She kept everyone dancing along throughout the night, especially during an interlude after “Paid in Pleasure” where she invited people from the crowd onstage to strut their stuff with her. The Pleasure material sounds great live, but it was also a treat to hear her dip back into her discography for Dirty Computer favorites like “Pynk,” “Django Jane,” “Make Me Feel,” and “I Like That,” as well as two songs off The Electric Lady.
For her encore, Janelle went back to 2010’s The ArchAndroid, delivering a blistering rendition of “Tightrope” with an extended outro that ended in a confetti drop. People around me rose to leave, but Janelle came right back out for “Come Alive (The War of the Roses),” the night’s actual final song, which had her running through the aisles into the crowd. A tour de force performance from a true star.
See pictures from Tuesday night’s show, including openers Flyana Boss, below, along with the setlist and attendee-taken video.
Janelle’s second NYC show is at Kings Theatre on Thursday (9/28).
SETLIST: JANELLE MONÁE @ RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL, 9/26/2023
Black Sugar Beach
Paid in Pleasure
Only Have Eyes 42
I Like That
Make Me Feel
Come Alive (The War of the Roses)