Wild Young Minds: North Sea Jazz 2011 part II: Janelle Monae, BB King, Robert Randolph, Larry Graham and Prince

Saturday, July 9, 2011

North Sea Jazz 2011 part II: Janelle Monae, BB King, Robert Randolph, Larry Graham and Prince

Janelle Monae is an American singer, you can't describe her, she has a new sound. I'll try to describe it anyway: soul, funk, indiepop, punk, hiphop and synthetical. Her album is called 'The ArchAndroid' and she is an androgyn android herself as well. Her album has a magical story, she turns into her alter ego: Cindy Mayweather who wakes up in the year 2719 in a world without love and freedom. She has to rescue us.

Our goal was to stand in the front and of course we managed it. Then I looked beside me and I saw Giovanca. Right there, standing in the audience! For the ones that don't know her, Giovanca is a Dutch soul and jazz singer known from 'On my Way' and 'Drop it'. Since no one paid any attention to it, we were too cowardly to ask her to take a picture with us. She did blink at Ramai, who was head over heels ;)

The beginning of the show was already mind blowing. Janelle's band was disguised in black and white. Three people with black hoods and caps came on stage and the background music was like a fairy tale. A scary one.

And then suddenly Janelle showed herself and the music began. It was terrific. She was wearing the usual: a black and white suit and her hair was very high like she always wears it. I especially loved the uptempo songs like 'Cold War', 'Tightrope' and 'Come Alive'. The first ballad she sang was a bit disappointing because the volum was extremely low, you could barely hear her and her voice wasn't very strong. But at the end she began to scream and that sounded awesome.

Janelle also did a few covers like Stevie Wonder's 'My cherie amour' and The Jackson Five's 'I want you back'. During a quite song she began to make a painting on stage. She really was crazy, in a good way of course. Later on she wanted to make everybody sit down on the knees. And she managed it, the entire audience sat down because she said so. To thank the audience she crowdsurfed a round. Suddenly she was coming our way, I was like: OMG, I should make a picture! And then I helped putting her back on stage. The audience went wild.

After 1,5 hour the show was over. We were very thrilled and went to BB King. Unfortunately, his show was almost over as well and it was so crowded that we could hardly see him.

Other artists we saw were 'Robert Redford and the Family Band' and 'Larry Graham and the Graham Central Station'. Larry Graham, like BB King a very old man, was the bass guitarist in Sly and the Family Stone.

And then the waiting began. We were already lead to the 'Maas' but we had to go outside the Ahoy to came back in the stadium. Prince was about to start. We weren't very happy with our seats because we sat like a mile from the stage. In the upper seats in the stadium, so I had to zoom my camera 40 times to actually get a good photo of Prince.

Prince, also known as 'His Royal Madness' or 'His Royal Badness' came on stage half an hour late. Jimi Hendrix's 'Foxy Lady' was his first song. The show was more like a jamming session than like a real Prince show. Maybe it was because he was performing yesterday and today as well, so he might have divided his songs over the three shows.

Esperanza Spalding, who we missed that same day because we were at Kris Berry, sang a beautiful version of Marvin Gaye's 'Let's get it on', one of my favourite songs. Janelle Monae and Larry Graham also came on stage, so it was a little party over there. Prince almost sang none of his popular songs like 'Little Red Corvette', '1999' or 'Kiss'. Around 3.30 o'clock we decided to go because we thought the show was over. The next day I read that he actually did perform 'Purple Rain' at the end, so it was pretty dumb we missed that.

But we had to catch the subway. We did catch that but we missed the next train, so we had to wait for 80 minutes on the Central Station of Rotterdam before we could go back home. We were in Den Bosch at 7.15 in the morning so my body was completely confused when I got home. Fortunately, I slept another 4 hours so I'm back on track again.

I'm so sad the North Sea Jazz adventure is over again. At least, for us. Next year I'm definitely saving enough money to go three days because there's nothing better than music and a festival. Nothing.

1 comment:

  1. Aaaaggh! You got to see Janelle Monae, Larray Graham and Prince! Awesome. Great pictures. And brilliant post.