The immensely talented Janelle Monae brought her Dirty Computer tour to the desert on Friday (April 12), ruling the Coachella Stage with her full band (which she rightfully noted is the “funkiest horn section in the desert”) and elaborately-costumed dancers.
Monae’s intro music began one minute early — at around 9:49 p.m. — before she strutted out in black tights to “Crazy Classic Life,” and it was off to the races.
A white staircase served as the centerpiece for the set, and Monae and her dancers used every inch of it throughout the evening, twirling and twerking their way through all of the singer’s best hits. Naturally, there were multiple costume changes, as well as props when appropriate (notably, a throne).
Other highlights: Monae & Co. donning vagina pants for “Pynk,” impressive choreography during “Yoga,” and Monae yelling, “Electric ladies, if you know you the shit, I want you to dance!” (We do, and we did.)
“Tonight, we’re here to celebrate the dirty computers [and] the things that make us unique, even if it makes others uncomfortable,” Monae later said, before launching into “I Like That.” She then changed yet again, this time into silver sequin pants, for “Make Me Feel,” during which she plays guitar. Equally vital to the show as always, her dancers also changed into denim shorts, red latex bodysuits and coordinating hats and boots.
The biggest surprise of the evening came when Monae invited up a few friends during “I Got the Juice” — Lizzo, who stirred up more than a few cheers for her bootylicious antics, and Tierra Whack, who performed earlier in the day.
“Thank you for supporting me as a young, black queer woman growing up in America,” Monae told the crowd. She then closed with “Tightrope,” bringing the theatrics until the final note.