An Unplanned Ending the Only Blemish on Janelle Monae's Voodoo Set

[Updated] The last time Janelle Monae played Voodoo, it was located in City Park’s Marconi Meadows in 2010, She was touring behind her debut album, The ArchAndroid, and when she performed “Tightrope” to close the show, she tipped the tightrope on the ground in front of 50 or so people who supportively gave her room to move. 

Janet Jackson Remembers Her Father at Essence

{Updated] Keeping the fans in the Superdome has been a challenge for the acts that close the Essence Festival, but Janet Jackson didn’t start to hemorrhage audience members until a lengthy mid-set DJ break. That ended with the band playing “Let’s Wait a While” as an instrumental, which fans took as a chance to sing or leave. Still, once she was back onstage and performing, the exodus slowed significantly.

There's More to Essence Festival 2018 Than Janet and Mary J. Blige

The Essence Festival starts this weekend, and it remains one of my favorite festivals in New Orleans. It’s a far less punishing way to see many of the acts that play Jazz Fest’s Congo Square Stage, but as they’re meant to be seen—suave, smooth, and not sweating their way through wardrobes that were never intended for the late afternoon Louisiana sun. 

Will Jack White's War on Smartphones Continue at Jazz Fest?

It’s hard to imagine that Jack White will be able to lock up people’s phones when he plays Jazz Fest Sunday, May 6, but that is the plan for the tour behind his upcoming Boarding House Reach album. Yesterday, he announced that “no photos, video or audio recording devices” will be allowed at his concerts. He’s not worried about bootlegging, though.

Jindenna, The Internet Win Essence Festival 2016

If you weren’t in the Superdome or the Convention Center this weekend, the story of Essence Festival was #closedforessence. A photo of a sign in Walk-Ons’ door that announced that the bar was closed for repairs started the meme as the timing, along with the history of bars and restaurants closing during the Essence Festival and Bayou Classic weekends, made the closure suspicious.

Badu vs. Braxton - Who's Real at Essence?

[Updated] For most of the crowd in the Superdome Sunday for the end of the 20th year of the Essence Festival, the night was about Charlie Wilson and Lionel Richie. For me, the fireworks came early. The night opened with Tamar, who presumes to be on a single-name basis with the world. I, not being part of the world, needed a last name—Braxton—to give her context.

Mary J. Blige the Spectacle Saturday at Essence

After the spectacle of Beyoncé’s high-tech production last year at Essence Festival, it’s refreshing to have a year where the focus has been clearly on the performers. Neither Prince nor Mary J. Blige relied on technology or choreography for visual stimulus, though both had choreography that they could have done without.

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