Solange took the reigns as a curator of black star power Monday evening (Oct. 2) when her Orion’s Rise tour series made a stop at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.
The series, commemorating the anniversary of A Seat At The Table, upheld the singer’s creative direction and the constellation with odes to Orion’s Belt. It’s something that’s been seen in at festival performances at Panorama and the very alluring Guggenheim production earlier this year. This time around, Solange brought along a supergiant replica that changed hues to fit each track.
Performing the album in order, Solo made sure each song paid tribute to the constellation. Betelgeuse, a red supergiant star, was fitting for tracks cuts like “Rise” and “Mad.” Rigel, the rare blue-white supergiant star, glowed during throwback renditions of “Lovers In The Parking Lot” and “T.O.N.Y.”
The admiration for the Saint Heron creator could be felt all over the classic venue as fans tossed around black power fists and hips to “F.U.B.U.” and “Borderline (An Ode to Self Care).” With her band providing perfect transitions to each jam, the singer stepped outside of her contemporary choreography to drop it low.
She also continued her new tradition of dancing with fans in the audience. While some were left in silent awe, others can be heard passing positive affirmations in for the form of “yasss” chants. From celebrity attendees like Deray McKesson to Joe Budden, the crowd was a perfect representation of the varied lovers of Solange’s soulful cosmic journey.
Before closing the show with “Don’t Touch My Hair” under a red hue, Solange reflected on the days leading up to the Sept. 2016 release of A Seat At The Table.
“I was working through some of the trauma that exists as a black woman in this country,” she said. “I needed to put the album out to heal for myself.”
Monday night was an experience for everyone in attendance. Radio City transformed into a family reunion that required all of us to get on the dance floor. The family vibes vibrated ten times stronger when Earth Wind & Fire’s Verdine White joined the singer on stage “Bad Girls (Verdine Version),” their collaborative jam from the 2012 EP, True.
But the spirits of the crowd were also tickled by the opening acts. Film composer and R&B wonder Christophe Chassol used footage of island life while performing tracks from his Big Sun project while the Sun Ra Arkestra kept it cool and celestial with favorites from their 30-decade career like “Face the Music / Space is the Place.” Earl Sweatshirt kept his bars introspective during his set as a love story between two young souls played in the background.
All around, Orion’s Rise is a reminder of Solange’s artistic expression and her incomparable black girl magic. The singer makes a return to Radio City this evening before ending her tour at The Greek Theatre in Berkeley, CA at the end of the month.