Janelle Monae at Dakota Lounge

Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, a few of us self-declared LA refugees went to check out the opening party for Dakota Lounge, formerly Temple Bar, in Santa Monica. I wanted to catch Janelle Monae who I'd seen perform at the Viper Room previously.

Though we had to stand outside in line for a bit, we managed to get inside before her set began. Despite our late entry, we managed to walk right up to the front of the stage for her set.

Janelle Monae

Just as in her set at the Viper Room, Janelle was a dynamo on stage. At one point, I looked down at my camera to adjust the settings, and WHAP! Something hit me in the face. It was her white sportcoat, which she'd flung into the crowd.

Janelle Monae

Afterwards, we were at the bar grabbing a drink when she walked out. Someone saw us looking her way and asked if we'd like to chat with her. Turns out he was her manager.

I showered her with effusive praise. She thanked me and said, "Keep me in your prayers."

I had her manager snap a photo of us with her.

Meeting Janelle Monae