3 of 10
3. Erykah Badu and Janelle Monae
June 2 at Chicago Theatre
Copyright © 2009, The Chicago Tribune
Erykah Badu (pictured) conducts her band on the fly and lets spontaniety rule in a performance that feels exotic, earthy, regal and irreverent all at once. Badu's also a savvy tastemaker, as evidenced by her choice for an opening act. Janelle Monae makes an indelible impression, whether she's slamming out the "do the tightrope" funk, strutting with new-wave guitars or standing on a barstool and belting out Charlie Chaplin's "Smile."