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Victoria Monét’s Exciting Performance at the Essence Festival of Culture – Essence

Victoria Monét’s Exciting Performance at the Essence Festival of Culture – Essence
Victoria Monét’s Exciting Performance at the Essence Festival of Culture – Essence

(Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images)

On Sunday night, Caesar’s Superdome in New Orleans was the epicenter of excitement as thousands of fans gathered for the Essence Festival of Culture. This annual celebration of Black culture, music, and artistry was a weekend of unforgettable performances, and Victoria Monét did not disappoint. The Grammy-nominated artist took the stage with an electric presence, delivering a performance that was as much a celebration of her rising career as it was a showcase for her critically acclaimed album Jaguar II.

As the lights dimmed and the opening chords of her first song reverberated through the stadium, the roar of the crowd was deafening. Monét appeared in her signature brown, a dazzling, sequined outfit that shimmered with every move. She opened with “Alright,” with a backdrop that set the tone for the show: House Of Jaguar. A triple-threat talent, Monét not only captured the crowd with her voice, but kept everyone captivated with her well-choreographed dance routines. After “Alright,” she broke into a dance break to the tune of Outkast’s “SpottieOttieDopaliscious.”

Monét transitioned seamlessly into “Cadillac, (A Pimp’s Anthem),” cranking up the energy. The stage was filled with vivid imagery and intricate choreography, her dancers moving in perfect unison. The synergy between Monét and her dancers was palpable, their movements a physical manifestation of the song’s infectious rhythm. As she performed, it was clear that Monét was not just a singer, but a storyteller, using every aspect of the stage to convey her artistic vision.

A highlight of the night was her performance of “Ass Like That.” The crowd erupted as the familiar beat kicked in, Monét’s confidence and charisma radiating from the stage. The song, an anthem of self-love and body positivity, had the entire Superdome on its feet, dancing and singing along. Monét’s ability to combine powerful, encouraging messages with irresistible grooves was on full display. She made a point to address the ladies in the audience during the song. “This is for all my women out there, loving yourself, prioritizing self-love, just the way you are. We see you.”

In between songs, Monét took a moment to dance to Memphis rapper Glorilla’s “TGIF” before segueing into “We Might Even Be Falling In Love,” where she introduced her band. She spoke with heartfelt sincerity about the meaning of performing at Essence Fest, a platform that celebrates Black excellence. “It’s my first time at Essence,” she said during her performance. “And it feels like home, because my mom grew up in Mobile, Alabama. And we know y’all fight about Mardi Gras and all that, about who started it, but we’re all here to have a good time together and love each other. I love seeing y’all get along and have a great time.”

During her performance, she even incorporated her daughter Hazel into the show, introducing the song “Stop (Askin Me 4 Shyt)”, in which she channeled the opening of The Supreme with an interpolation of “Stop In The Name Of Love”. She put a twist on the original song by stopping and telling the audience, “Stop bitching about the damn president when you don’t vote. Go out and vote,” and “Stop acting like black people aren’t the most beautiful people in the world.” She received a standing ovation from the audience.

Paying homage to her West Coast roots, she moved into “Coastin.” The sultry beats and lush harmonies offered a tantalizing glimpse into her versatility as an artist. She brought out New Orleans’ own Lucky Daye for “Smoke,” which once again brought the crowd to its feet.

“Essence, we have so many moments in our lives that are fleeting, and so I’m just happy to spend this moment here with you, thank you for inviting me,” she says. Monét slowed down the vibes just enough to perform her steamy single “Moment.”

Eventually, the lights dimmed on stage for a brief intermission before Monét reemerged to perform the title track from her album, “Jaguar.” As the night drew to a close, Monét closed out the evening with a heartfelt encore, singing “On My Mama,” the song that won her three Grammy Awards and two Soul Train Awards, leaving the audience waving and smiling. As the final notes faded and the lights dimmed, the audience erupted in applause, their cheers echoing long after Monét had left the stage.

For those lucky enough to experience it, the evening was a testament to Monét’s status as one of the most exciting and innovative artists of her generation. For Monét, the performance was another milestone in an already illustrious career, and for her fans, an evening that will be cherished for years to come.