If you’ve ever seen Solange live, you know that her performances — in theaters, at festivals, wherever — are intricately staged, tremendously moving spectacles. She knows how to make these things special. Solange is a great singer, and she’s got great songs, but there are a lot of great singers with great songs. Solange turns her performances into all-consuming musical and visual feasts. She controls every piece of her performances — the arrangements, the choreography, the stage design. And she makes those performances feel like expertly realized individual visions. Last night, she managed to bring one of those visions to the late-night TV stage, which can’t be an easy thing to do.
Last night, Solange was the musical guest on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show. Earlier this year, she released When I Get Home, a holistic of-a-piece album mostly comprised of loose, brief song-sketches. Last night, she gave a nine-minute Tonight Show performance. The album is only 40 minutes long. That means her five-song When I Get Home medley was a huge part of the album.
This has been Solange’s first late-night performance of 2019, and she put everything into it. She had her own set built for the stage, and her performance included some powerful choreography, both with her backup singers and with the troupe of dancers who came onstage behind her. The music was fluid and jazz-informed, and the staging was immaculate. At one point, she sang while being lovingly encircled by a sort of glittery swamp-monster. This is a truly great TV performance, and you can watch it below.
When I Get Home is out now on Columbia.