It took about one minute for R&B singer-songwriter Victoria Monét to sell out her first-ever headlining concert. In 2016, she served as one of the opening acts for tours by Fifth Harmony and Ariana Grande — the latter of whom she has written a number of hits for, including Billboard Hot 100 No. 1s “Thank U, Next” and “7 Rings” — and performed her first solo festival gig at Day N Vegas just two years ago. But for about one hour at Los Angeles’ El Rey Theatre on Friday night (March 31) , Monét took her “motherf—in’ moment” and never let go.
From the “Moment” the curtains pulled back on the 33-year-old performer, who appeared in a shimmering bronze and green bikini and mesh pants, she instantly blew her fans away. Monét’s windswept, wavy blond hair framed the face of a tried-and-true performer who was somehow just getting her start. The singer’s monumental show kicked off Spotify’s “R&B First Nights” campaign, which aims to amplify the genre’s rising stars by supporting their first live show across select U.S. markets. The campaign, which is financially backed by Spotify’s Creator Equity Fund, will also support U.K. R&B trio FLO‘s Atlanta show next month as part of their first North American tour. Funny enough, when Billboard asked FLO in a recent interview who they were dying to collaborate with, the girl group named Monét.
And it comes as no surprise, considering Monét bodies being a triple threat. She continuously accentuated her assets during her “Ass Like That” performance, singing about her personal fitness journey and a guy who’s absolutely enamored by her results. The subject matter hits close to home, as her partner and the father of her 2-year-old daughter Hazel, John Gaines, is a personal trainer, who fans were introduced to in the whimsical, breath-taking “Moment” music video from early 2020. Both proudly watched Monét in awe among the evening’s star-studded audience, which included Lauren Jauregui, Ambré, Muni Long, Joyce Wrice, Kelela, Ty Dolla $ign, Ravyn Lenae and more.
She not only earned respect from her industry peers and family, but also her fans, who got audibly excited at the sight of her viral dance routine to Trillville featuring Cutty Cartel’s 2004 hit “Some Cut.” The famed squeaky bed frame sounds provided a seamless transition into her 2020 Jaguar cut “Dive,” but Monét wanted to slow things down even more for “Touch Me.”
Scattering spotlights showered the now-perched singer, who basked in it — a rather rare moment for someone who has spent years behind a pen, tucked away in a studio and nowhere near a stage that would give her her own shine apart from any superstar she’s ever worked with in her storied career.
Monét made sure the crowd never forgot who she is, seducing one of her female backup dancers to flaunt her bisexual identity during “F.—” as glowing pink lights filled the 771-capacity venue with lust. She treated her day one fans with touches of nostalgia, playing songs off her 2018 albums, Life After Love, Pt. 1 and Pt. 2. And for one very special fan named Aubrey, Monét brought her up on stage to personally thank her for supporting her all of these years and gifted her a signed vinyl. She later brought up her longtime photographer Alfredo Flores to capture the moment, with the entire audience unpromptedly throwing up a peace sign for the camera, potentially in reference to her upcoming Jaguar II era.
“Take your phones out and light this bi— up, cause you can’t smoke in here!” Monét yelled before diving into her latest, Lucky Daye-assisted single “Smoke.” Once it cleared, she payed homage to her first Jaguar project by giving the audience a truly groovy “Experience” with technicolor lighting that mimicked a disco ball in efforts to transport them straight to the ’70s. But she (literally) snapped everyone back into reality with the same celestial keys that played at the start of the show, but this time, for “Jaguar.” If another Austin Powers movie were to be made today, Monét made her case for why she would be his foxy sidekick (the way Beyoncé once played) with her razor sharp, yet incredibly fluid movements and overall awe-inspiring, superstar presence.
Triumphant trumpets blared for her grand finale and later replayed once Monét returned to the stage, with an adorably stunned baby Hazel in her arms, to bask in this moment just once more. “I just wanted to say thank you to my team. Thank you guys all for coming. This is a team effort. I have the name Victoria Monét, but that name is plural. It’s my team that got me here,” she said above bouts of roaring applause, with her team standing all around her, including her manager Rachelle Jean-Louis and producer D’Mile. “And thank you Spotify for believing in me to have this moment and to kick off your ‘[R&B] First Nights.’
“I wanted to make this night extra special for you guys, too. I know you guys have been waiting for Jaguar II for a really long time,” she teased. “And because you guys sold this show out in one minute, I just wanted to give you a little sneak peek.” While taking a hefty sip from a Veuve Clicquot champagne bottle (if you know, you know), Monét played a snippet of a new slinky, hip-hop-leaning track that featured her signature funky trumpets signaling her victory lap.
Victoria Monét’s El Rey setlist:
“Big Boss (Interlude)”
“Ass Like That”
“We Might Even Be Falling in Love (Interlude)”
“Do You Like It”