Sunday, 24 April 2011

I go cycling, so Prince goes cycling...

When the Wee Man Prince announced this run of shows at the L.A. Forum and I realised that at least one would coincide with me being in the neighbourhood (well, 40-odd miles away) then there was a better-than-even-money chance that I would try to attend. The clincher was his decision to sell most of the tickets for $25. Er, that's not even £20...there are probably Prince tributes out there who charge as much!

Anyway, after paying almost as much to park the car I just about made it to my seat to see the house lights dim and of course hear the 17000 punters go berserk and then...the lights go back on again...and then off...cue pandemonium...then back on...the Wee Man was clearly loving teasing his people and when he did make his entrance through the trap-door/lift in the middle of the stage you must've heard the roar back in Blighty!

Here is the setlist: I only knew about three of the songs, not that I cared a jot as it was a joy to hear these people play...

Beginning Endlessly
She's Always In My Hair
Future Soul Song
Take Me With U
Raspberry Beret
Cool/Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Let's Work (mostly instrumental, played in the dark)
Hollywood Swingin'
U Got The Look
Misty Blue (Shelby vox)
How Come You Don't Call Me Anymore (with Alicia Keys)
When Doves Cry/Nasty Girl/Sign O' The Times/TMBGITW/Darling Nikki
If I Was Your Girlfriend

Encore 1:
Controversy/a few lines from Housequake

Encore 2:
Purple Rain
The Wee Man was in a guitar-mood for sure and he alternated between two Teles. When he slung it behind him a la Bruce I did wonder if they had more in common than you think...both prolific songwriters, both love shredding solos, both play whatever the bloody hell they want for as long as they, that's about it really. Alright maybe they aren't related but they are cut from the same cloth. At least that's my take on it!

He did make one comment early-doors about how he never cared if he never got his songs played on the radio again, he just loved music. Of course this was greeted with hysteria: if he had have said that he loved pickled onion Monster Munch then there would have been an outbreak of "hell yeahs". And he would have been right, of course.

There were two curveballs thrown by him last night: the first was the brevity of the show at 'only' 90 minutes but of course this was a weapons-grade 90 minutes: anyone who complains about that show ($25 or not) needs their ears tested and then a good shoeing.
This was musicianship and choreography of the highest calibre...we've all heard of performers having charisma, presence or dare I say the X- factor, well this guy is the real deal.

He usually delights in fetching some folks out of the audience to dance with him and last night we had the spectacle of Rosario Dawson and Cuba Gooding Jr. onstage...the latter went for it big time and was almost worth the $25 by himself!
The only moment that I didn't particularly love was when he was joined by Alicia Keys to duet; obviously her voice was good but not a patch on Prince's own cohort, Shelby.

After a stellar 'Purple Rain' he disappeared and that really was it save for the second curveball...after about ten muntes he appeared on a bicycle and rode around the arena floor! No, I'm not making this up. Well, if it's good enough for Prince...

Don't suppose he'll be down at Huntington Beach early tomorrow though...