Ms. Janelle Monae goes the extra mile on her albums. More than just a string of pop tracks, her first concept album Metropolis: The Chase Suite would prove how she and fellow Wondaland Arts Society members push for experimentation in music and storytelling. Blending hip-hop, soul, R&B and classical music together, the pompadoured beauty reinvigorates the theater geek in everyone as she pours the narrative of her other-worldly alter ego—a lovesick robot—into her songs. Her two follow up albums, The Arch Android and Electric Lady, further connect the sci-fi melodrama to the mainstream, with collaborators like Prince, Solange, Big Boi and Miguel. But take away the avant-garde production design and you can see Monae’s a tough performer. Working up a cold sweat as she sings and dances on stage, you’d swear James Brown’s ghost possessed her tiny five foot frame—and she’ll simply blow you away.
Tue., Nov. 5, 8 p.m., 2013