Here I sit in my bed at 3:38pm still in after glow from my night with Mr. Prince Rogers Nelson. He had his way with me you know… me and a few thousand others last night at Time Warner Cable Arena. Prince’s performance was one to be remembered and an absolute testimony to his unquestionable ability to rock a house and do so on his own terms. His refusal to people please with his music and insistence on coming from the gut with what he loves has, while causing some turbulence in his career, also made him one the most amazingly dynamic and original musicians alive.
Last night’s show was definitely one for lovers of music of every variety. As always The Purple One brought his own unique brand of rock, funk, pop, and even disco to the stage openly declaring himself (and his opening act Anthony Hamilton) “real musicians”. Sounds a little braggadocios, but he’s Prince dammit…he can do that. His musical reputation precedes him. Prince has always been a musical daredevil experimenting with all manner of instruments including his voice (see the “laughing backwards” scene from Purple Rain). The results almost always guarantee eargasms for the aurally eclectic.
Counting myself amongst the open-minded many I found myself quite annoyed by those who insisted on bringing up what he didn’t perform. He’d warned at the start of the show that he simply just “had too many hits” and went on to say that he and the band (The New Power Generation) were going to “play the songs that they like”. Now this may have seemed like a stretch for the limited imagination, but I was much happier seeing him and his band play music they enjoyed playing, rather than to have to see them grind through a trite play list because the audience just can’t live another day unless they hear 1999 ONE more time. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If you want to hear the album, stay home and listen the album. Live shows (when done well…and when not) are beautifully organic things that audience members get to be a part of. Get on board! Digressing…
As I continue to muse over last night’s session (and light imaginary cigarette), I’m beginning to feel a great sense of gratitude. You see, I am a very fortunate Prince fan in that I’ve gotten to see him at vastly different points in his career. My first, was during the Lovesexy Tour. I was then a hormone infused 14 year-old starring bug-eyed at the love, sex, and magic happening on stage as I writhed around in my seat at Madison Square Garden wondering what the hell was happening to me (quite disturbing as my mother was holding down the seat to my left.). My second, was here in Charlotte during the Hit + Run tour. Him seated at the piano while a scantily clad “Hot Thang” snaked around him as he played The Ballad of Dorothy Parker will live in my psyche until I’m old and gray. Friday night’s performance, my third time having the privilege of seeing him live, left me just as or if not more exhilarated than I was in 1988 at Madison Square Garden.
I am thoroughly convinced that in 20 years, Prince would be worth seeing if he were only rolling across the stage in a power chair and nestling up to a piano. Why? Because he was, is, and will always be an irrepressible master of his craft. His music is saintly, sinful, worldly, womanly, manly, and absolutely can not be pigeon-holed to one title. So I don’t even try. I simply enjoy, with no demands or expectations. Mr. Nelson thank you for another set of memories for me to mull over in the erotic city of my mind ;).
The Highlights of Friday night’s performance for me were:
1. Him dancing while the band played Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough
2. The Purple Rain during Purple Rain
3. Youneedanotherlover….like you need a hole in heeeeeeeaaaad!
4. The Beautiful Ones….Oh my… (*lights another imaginary cigarette*)
5. The Big Beautiful and talented group of background singers he brought with him. Those ladies WORKED it.
What were yours?