The annual Austin City Limits festival kicked off on October 5th-7th with a jam-packed three-day lineup of rock, rap, pop and more. The first weekend of the fest was hot and humid, but that didn’t stop Janelle Monáe, whose afternoon set was the one that smoked them all on Sunday.
Like the trouper she is, Monáe was covered head to toe, shoulder to wrist on a scorching October afternoon in Texas — and went through ample costume changes. She strapped into a checkered trenchcoat and bodysuit to serve a funked-out performance of “Q.U.E.E.N.” and “Electric Lady,” then wiggled into her fluffy pink shrimp pants for “Pynk,” spreading messages of empowerment and solidarity in a time of political strife.
“This goes out to all my electric ladies,” she declared. “We break the rules, we make the rules, we make the world a better fucking place!” She dedicated her song “PrimeTime” to her late mentor, Prince — as well as her fans from all over the gender and sexual spectrums. “No matter how you love, or who you love, you are welcome at my show, anytime,” said Monáe. “And if you didn’t come with anyone, I want you to know that you are safe!”
The second weekend of the Austin City Limits Festival takes place October 12th-14th.