Last Monday, Janelle Monae and Wondaland Records rolled through Atlanta presenting The Eephus Tour. The tour is in conjunction with The Eephus Ep, a compilation album from Wondaland. The term “eephus” is a baseball term that describes a certain type of pitch intended to catch the hitter off-guard. After experiencing the concert, I’d say that’s an accurate title!
What was so cool about this tour was that it was free to those who RSVP’d in advance. I RSVP’d for the Atlanta show about a week before they were scheduled to perform and I got my confirmation email the day before the show. I felt like I was in the know and had the 411 on a secret!! Lol! For those who don’t know, Wondaland Records is a record label created by Janelle Monae right here in Atlanta. The label consists of visionary individual artists and duos. They are Jidenna, Deep Cotton, St. Beauty, Roman Gianarthur, and of course, Janelle Monae.
I have seen Janelle Monae and St. Beauty perform at different venues around Atlanta numerous times. This was my first opportunity to see all of Wondaland. I was really excited because Janelle and St. Beauty put on great shows and are very entertaining. I expected the same from The Eephus concert and I was not disappointed. The show was at The Tabernacle, which is my favorite concert venues in Atlanta. It is small enough to provide intimacy with the audience and the artists but not too small that its uncomfortable. For most concerts, each artist performs one at a time with the lesser know artist taking the stage first and ending with the more well known artist or the headliner. The Eephus Tour was a little different. Each artist and duo had individual time on stage but they also performed with each other throughout the show. I thought that was creative and kept the audience’s attention the entire night. Janelle Monae belted out her soul filled hits while hitting all of her choreographed steps. Jidenna serenaded the audience with his hit “Classic Man” as well as songs that the audience may not have been as familiar with. He even showed the audience his rapping skills which were equal to his vocals. Deep Cotton threw a rock and roll spin into the mix with high energy head banging, dreadlock throwing, and crowd jumping. St. Beauty enticed us with their lyrics and their tempting motions. While Roman added a hint of Prince flair to the show which was a common thread with all the artists. The show was a perfect blend of sex, funk, rock n roll, jazz, and R&B. They wrapped up with “Hell You Talmbout” which is a protest song highlighting the names of Black American men and women who have died at the hands of police brutality.
If you missed them during The Eephus Tour, don’t fret. They will be performing at The OneMusic Fest this Saturday in Atlanta. Check them out there. The Eehpus Ep is now available in stores and online!