Janelle Monae at the Taste of Chicago

It’s beginning to cool off as the shade begins to cover Grant Park. The skyline casts a long shadow over the lawn in front of the Petrillo Music Shell. Fans await who they have journeyed here for, Janelle Monae.

At times, living in Chicago is a segregated experience. But at the Taste of Chicago, the city is united as one. North, South, and West all gather to celebrate summer and to take advantage of the incredible talent Chicago can attract for a free lakefront concert. This is why we live here, and we’re all soaking it in.

Finally, the band takes the stage. They’re all dressed in white. It’s clear we are in for more than just a concert, this will be a performance. Janelle comes out and the crowd erupts. She and the band rock through her set, dancing along the whole time. She throws in a few covers by James Brown and the Jackson 5. “I Feel Good” and “ABC” respectively. By any other artist, this would seem like pandering to a large crowd, but in this case, they integrate perfectly into the performance.
At one point she leaves the stage to grab a leather jacket. She’s cool and she knows it. And during her show, she is hanging out with all of us, and we feel cool too.

Quinn Delaney (Founder)

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