I feel pretty confident declaring that Janelle Monae is in the Top 3 of my favorite artists to photograph. She’s ay-may-zing and I really love trying to capture her stage presence and energy in my photos. She’s the real deal and I promise you if you go see her perform you will walk away impressed. This gig at the Lincoln is probably the 6th or 7th time I’ve seen her and she has yet to disappoint.
That said, even I had grown a bit weary of her last stage production. Not because it wasn’t any good, just that she had been doing it for the last three years. Her show really needed an update, and she delivered. Her new opening, being wheeled out on a hand truck in a straight jacket, doesn’t match the suspense of the dancing monks from the old show, but Janelle has improved so much as a performer, at this point it;s basically just wind her up and let her go. She OWNED the Lincoln, which I think bodes well for even bigger venues. I say this at the end of every Janelle Monae blog post, but I can. not. wait. to shoot her again. She’s a can’t miss at this point.
SHOOTING NOTES: This being the lincoln, I was stuck in one spot for our three songs, which was great when she was on my side of the stage, but less so when she wasn’t. I would have definitely liked to have gotten some different angles, but i can only work with what I was given. I was glad I was able to shoot from the front row, not always a given there. Lights were great, deep color washes for the background, but plenty of spotlights to keep her properly lit in the foreground. A friend in Philly said he got to shoot the first 30 minutes of Janelle’s set, but we were only given three songs. That ended up being a good 20 minutes, so I’ll take it.
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Janelle Monae @ Lincoln Theatre – Images by Kyle Gustafson