All the stars were aligned when Solange performed at Sunday night’s ESSENCE Fest 2017. In her home of New Orleans, with an all-male brass band, all-women dancers, at a festival that celebrates Black women — the newly turned 31-year-old created a rare atmosphere that was inescapable.
For the performance at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, she used her red-oculus stage backdrop, with everyone on stage wearing the same shade of cherry-colored Telfar outfits. Methodical and synchronized at times, the thought put into the show translated to a deep devotion she has for presenting a good show to her fans.
Opening with “Weary” then transitioning to “Don’t You Wait”, “Cranes in the Sky”, “Losing You” and “Mad” she had the crowd of thousands up out of their seats belting the lyrics and dancing.
But the most intimate, heartfelt moment was when Solo walked through the crowd to find the one chosen Black woman in the crowd to sing “F.U.B.U.” directly to. The practice is something she’s done throughout her A Seat At the Table shows, to get up-close and personal with the women she wrote the album for.
Closing with “Don’t Touch My Hair”, the trumpet-filled ending was the culmination of what can only be described as “Black girl joy” in a space and time when we can never get enough of it.