Reviews – Janelle Monae & Kimbra: Golden Electric Tour @ Forum Theatre 17/05/14

This review was published on the AU review on 20/05/2014 and can be viewed here.

One of them was one half of one of the biggest tracks of 2012 worldwide and the other is a Grammy-nominated, MTV and Billboard winning songstress who performed for the Obama’s earlier this year.

Donning unique voices and creative styles of clothing, the soulful Janelle Monae and exuberant Kimbra, should have been celebrating the opening show of Monae’s first Australian tour and Kimbra’s return to her adopted homeland, however the show was unfortunately cancelled half way through.

Dubbed the Golden Electric Tour, each artist was set to play a 45-minute set of their own music with their own bands then grace the stage together to play some covers.

Kimbra opened the night with an electric performance of her unique style of soulful tunes accompanied with some strange dance moves. Alternating from old to new, we were treated to the slower, love-fused tracks from her debut release Vows, as well as preview tracks from her just named forthcoming sophomore release The Golden Echo.

Backed by an extensive rock-type band, stand out tracks from the newbie’s were the Matt Bellamy (Muse) collaboration, “90s Music” with its offbeat R&B, hip-hop vibe and the disco-infused “Miracle.”

Oldies such as “Cameo Lover” and “Plain Gold Ring” were performed but “Settle Down” was the highlight with neon symbols flashing across the small centre stage screen. Despite the band adding a new layer to Kimbra’s tracks, I much prefer her shows when she performs by herself or with a much smaller backing band.

In keeping with her unique style of clothing, Kimbra wore a golden puffy skirted dress with horizontal light up neon lights flashing as she sang.

Half an hour passed between the end of her set and Monae’s entourage entering the stage, most of them clad in white suits. One member of the band started reading a statement out to the audience to inform us that Monae had fallen ill and had to cancel at the last minute. He advised fans not to head to the box office and that they could retain a refund or attend the following Melbourne show. Fans slowly shuffled their way out of the venue shocked at what had just happened. A few days later and their Sydney Opera House show was cancelled as well. Now the whole tour has been cancelled with no rescheduling in the near future. Monae already has quite a few commitments booked in until August in Europe and the US and surely Kimbra will be booking up soon ahead of the release of her new album.

What was meant to be a bonus show, ended up being the only show to occur. Here’s to hoping we won’t have to wait too long for these pint-sized chanteuses to return to our shores.

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