I could swear there might have been a similar story about me back in college, but I always get a good laugh out of stories which involve beer in heavy volume. I wonder if he’s got a hangover? Or if he puked?
Saw Prince last night here in Boston. Nothing I can say or write can come close to justifying the show this man puts on. Nothing I can say or write will explain how hard of hearing I was afterwards, either. Maybe the loudest show I’ve ever witnessed. I remember twenty years ago when Purple Rain came out (oh, that hurts), I thought that the movie should have been nominated for an Oscar. I was 13, give me a break. I’m fairly certain there were much better films in 1984, but the movie still actually holds its own. I’m not sure what I’m getting at, really.
Anyway, Prince’s talent, showmanship, humor and energy all made for a pretty unbelieveable show and his band, whether backing him for traditional runs through a 3 minute song or pumping out a spectacular ten minute funk jam, were just amazing.
Prince has an uncanny ability to throw a song out there that nobody has heard and make you just relish it. He had the 20,000-plus there loving each and every minute. Let’s face it, we were there to hear the hits and while he did play them, he didn’t dedicate the night to them and he offered many subtle differences to the hits, too, shortening many of the big ones into a medley-style casserole (“Let’s Go Crazy,” “Kiss,” “Take Me With U”) and completely revamping a few others, including an acoustic version of “Little Red Corvette” that may very well have been the highlight of the night.
It’s hard to imagine Prince not singing that song in that tricked-out, synth-laden pimp style mega-hit it was, but Prince strumming this song alone on stage with an acoustic guitar was every bit as powerful. It was stunning and Prince’s talent on guitar, electic and acoustic, may very well make him the most underrated guitar player on the planet.
The roughly 30-minute acoustic set as a whole was equally as soulful and stirring as the full seven-piece band were. Prince’s stripped-down version of “Cream,” another song that’s so overtly sexual that you just can’t imagine unplugged, almost worked better than the radio hit. Then there was “7,” a song I had entirely forgotten about which happens to be one of my favorite Prince songs ever. When he started playing that alone on guitar, he moved the Earth for me. This was the transition song back into the full band and by the end of the song, the band was firing on ALL cylinders again, a brilliant mish-mash of Jimi Hendrix, Funkadelic & James Brown. While I am by no means an expert on dancing, Prince is also a tireless, gifted dancer and entertainer.
As with any show, nothing is perfect. I had been hoping all night for my favorite Prince song ever, “The Cross,” and “My Name Is Prince” was also notably absent, but it wasn’t to be. That said, he reminded us all that his string of hits from the early ’80s to the early ’90s is right up there and possibly better than anyone’s most powerful run of songs. The man has got it, and then some. And then some more.
Click on any of the pictures above to get bigger versions.
Song now playing: Jay Farrar – “Dent County”