By Ryan Lattanzio
Just as much as she bared her teeth on Friday afternoon at Rasputin in Berkeley, she bared a little slice of her soul. Monáe stripped her many layers of production and favored an acoustic set – something she said she loves – performing “Tightrope,” the single off this year’s The ArchAndroid (Atlantic), and the gorgeous “Smile” from the 2008 EP Metropolis: The Chase Suite (Atlantic).
After arriving an hour late (“Janelle Monáe’s in the house!” or “She’s putting change in the meter!” the emcee told us), Monáe was nearly done as soon as she started. Despite probably being tired – she had a show later with Erykah Badu at the Paramount – Monae made those two short songs very sweet.
Like in the music video for “Tightrope,” she wore her trademark futuristic bouffant and button earrings that matched so well with her Spats. And then there are those teeth again.
As in-store appearances go, Monáe was exceptional, entertaining, and of course, maintained the necessary sense of brevity. I wish she could’ve put on an entire show.