The Hooligans in Wondaland tour headlined by Bruno Mars and Janelle Monáe, or should I say, Janelle Monáe and Bruno Mars? No wait, Bruno Mars and Janelle Monáe – okay, I’m going with Janelle Monáe and Bruno Mars. Anyway, last night at the Billy Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, Janelle Monáe and Bruno Mars performed back to back and anytime two charismatic artists like these two perform, it’s going to be clash of awe.
The question is, who stole the show? Bruno Mars did take the last spot of the night and people (girls) were loving the beach, sugar, pop melodies; I also can’t forget to mention, they really, really, really, loved the three hip thrusts he gave out early in the show (youtube at your own risk). And Janelle Monáe performed like she was channeling the souls of Prince and James Brown while emulating their wild footsteps and antics onstage; she even brought the Jackson 5 to the mixer with her rendition of “I Want You Back.”
At the end of the night, Janelle Monáe stole the show from her opening “Suite II Overture” playing like opening credits to a movie written by Ian Fleming leading to three mysterious hooded figures introducing Janelle Monáe to her hyper, ascendent, voice in “Dance or Die” and “Faster.” Her performance soon became a barrage of soul and funk, hip-hop and rock, performance and dance with an entire ensemble acting as characters to a her futuristic mad world.
Not to say that we didn’t forget about Bruno Mars but while these two are charismatic and energetic artists, they are opposites of each other. Whereas Bruno Mars is like roadtrip up the Pacific Coast Highway, Janelle Monáe is like a crafted cinematic adventure that takes you across time and space. At the end of the night, it was that adventure that left a memorable image in mind. Of course, I should also mention that my lovely female companion still loves Bruno Mars but on the trip home, she took (stole) my Janelle Monáe albums.