This is what I wrote last night after I got home. My right ear is still ringing/shot and I had my earplugs in the entire time I was there. The setlist was more or less the same as every other show Janelle and her band have done on her current tour.
Suite IV Electric Overture
Givin Em What They Love
I Want You Back
(Jackson 5 cover)
Tightrope (w/ extended jam)
Let’s Go Crazy
(Prince & The Revolution cover)
Come Alive (The War of the Roses) (w/ extended jam playing to the crowd, crowd surfing, and having the crowd kneel for 10 or more minutes)
What an Experience
whoever did the sound tonight (Jake Rudh?) at the Janelle Monae show at The Skyway Theatre probably should get their hearing checked. Most of the show sounded like a huge wall-of-sound from where I was. Vocals-clipping, guitars-clipping, drums-clipping frequently.
Also, maybe even more than that, whoever estimated the capacity at The Skyway Theatre for this show, and considered it to be at standing room only, and also factored in many people needing to dance moving-into others personal space. They really didn't consider the frequent bumping, elbowing, clamoring for space and moving within the crowd.
In other words, it was claustrophobia 101, and more or less feeling like you're trapped in a can of sardines.
Someone also was lighting up, and I'm pretty sure The Barfly bldg has a no smoking policy.
Prince was there, but he did not join Janelle on stage.
Looking at my concert calendar this fall, the Janelle show was maybe the most significant, and by far it seems like it was the worst (although nearly every other show I have seen the last 2 months has been good if not outstanding). And that even isn't much to do with Janelle and her band's performance, but more so likely due to the venue and the crowd.
I had only been to The Barfly a few times, in The Loft part, which I found to be okay, not amazing, but not really repulsive. The Skyway Theatre seemed worse. Although in fairness, it is new, and perhaps like Mill City Nights, perhaps some improvements in the security, sound, and not overselling a venue for maximizing the ticket sales will change my feeling about that place. But for now, it definitely isn't my favorite place to see a concert in town.