Prince – Welcome 2 America Tour

Well, it’s been a helluva a week. I spent last weekend with some friends of mine upstate. Leaving their house on Sunday, I tripped and fell. I felt myself falling and heard Eddie Murphy in my head joking about how adults always fight the fall and make it worse so I let myself go and came down insanely hard on my left knee. Flailing, I then managed to bang the calf of my right leg. It might not have been so bad except that the steps are being remodeled so there are paving stones as the last step. The combination of my weight, the pull of gravity and the hardness of the stones had me bawling like a 5 year old lol. Can you say agony?!?

My friends were angels and since they work at hospitals they sent me home with a treasure trove of drugs and an ice pack. Better living through chemistry has been my motto for much of the week as I nursed myself back to full form. Much to my horror, I couldn’t put any pressure on my left knee so navigating the steps, dressing and getting in and out of bed has been a job and a half. The first thing I said on falling was ,”OMG, the Prince concert is Wednesday.”

Anyone who knows me, knows how crazy I am for Prince. I fell in love with him at 14. He is, and was, in my opinion, the epitome of steamy sexuality, freakiness and rebellion. Okay, well maybe he has tamped down on the rebel part but he is still da MAN and if anyone can find a man who grinds better than him, I would love to know who they are. Have you seen him perform Darling Nikki in Purple Rain lately? lol

There isn’t a single female in my generation who did not hear and was subsequently seduced by his lyrical mastery. His lyrics are a perfect amalgamation of sass, boldness and wickedness thrown in. He is a true romantic and knows how to woo, without doubt. He is also a consummate musician playing, quite literally, every instrument in his band. If you have ever played an instrument you know just how difficult and fantastic that is. Even if you don’t, you can’t deny his artistry. His musical career, encompassing three decades, shows evidence of almost every genre, jazz, funk, pop, country, blues, rock and roll, hip-hop, classical, new age….Best of all, he is fearless, embodying sexual freedom and social rebellion. He is the quintessential Gemini, showing both his feminine and masculine sides and not caring what people think and I dig that too. I would be remiss if I didn’t say I fell in love with his women as well, Vanity, Apollonia, Sheila E, Cat. Say what you want about his “sexual fluidity” but he has great taste in women lol.

Knowing all this, no one could be surprised that I was GOING to the concert even if I had to limp all the way there. For the record, I did limp a little and had a helluva time with the stairs but it was inconsequential. The concert started at 7:30 and we sat through two opening acts, one protege and the wonderful Leila Hathaway. I can’t say who all the musicians were, except pianist Renato Neto,  that accompanied him but they were all stellar. He has an eye for talent and an incredible ear for music excellence. This was the 3rd time I’ve seen him but it was the BEST.

You could hear a pin drop in the stadium when he came on stage, rising through the floor, decked out in gold and black. The stage was his symbol, The Sign. His arrival was greeted with a wave of insanity as we all screamed in unison. He opened with The Beautiful Ones which, like all the songs, was modified but retained the original melody and had a beautiful arrangement. The song is so sweet and deep that it was a perfect beginning. In fact, the procession of songs was masterfully done as it built and climaxed to a frenzy. A two hour long frenzy during which they dropped purple confetti. He crooned and screamed his signature falsetto enough times to make all the women swoon.

He performed old and new songs but old Prince heads will be happy to know the repertoire contained: Cream, Diamonds & Pearls, 17 Days, Scandalous, Thieves in the Temple, Nothing Compares 2 U, Kiss, If I was your girlfriend, All the Critics love U in New York, U Got the Look, When Doves Cry, Uptown, Christopher Tracy’s Parade, Controversy, Adore, & Purple Rain. At one point, he chanted from an old song that I am still trying to remember, “People call me rude. I wish we all were nude. I wish there was no black and white. I wish there were no rules.” 

He left the stage twice and the frenzy and pounding were deafening. When he performed Purple Rain, all the lights were dimmed and he told us all to take out our cell phones and wave them. The energy in the stadium was palpable as everyone chanted with him just like in the movie. People literally stood and danced in the aisles. He even invited 15 members of the audience to dance on stage with him. You could tell that they would NEVER forget that moment. He closed with Controversy which had the funkiest groove possible, heavy on the bass and told everyone to dance with him as he broke it down on the stage. He closed with Controversy which segued seamlessly into Le Freak. The stadium went mad lol.  It was also a very interesting mix of people, all races, all ages and class, united in their love of Prince and his music. LOVED IT!!!  It’s almost 30 years later and he is still selling out stadiums. Its hard to believe he’s 52 and broke his hip last year because he danced his ass off almost as good as he did at 25. In a word, GENIUS….

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