And Prince…The Artist Formerly Known As Prince…The Symbol…His Purple Highness…made the journey so worthwhile. Since last night was the last show in “Welcome 2 America” concert series, I decided to go ahead and reminisce on how much fun I had at the January 18th show.
My first time being in New York City will always be memorable because this was my first time seeing Prince perform. The many times I wished and prayed he would go on tour, and that I would be able to afford the price of admission, finally amounted to something.
I arrived in NYC at about 6pm, the concert was scheduled to start at 7:30pm, so I was cutting it close. I still had to get from LaGuardia to Manhattan and I figured that would take at least an hour in traffic (totally underestimated that one). I didn’t get to my hotel until a little after 7:30! I was fairly disappointed because I really wanted to see Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings perform. By the way, be sure to pick up their CD “I Learned the Hard Way”…it’ll do great things to your auditory system *smile*
Once I made my way into Madison Square Garden, I was shown to my seat (I did real good with my purchase…it was definitely worth the money). Since I had a case of dry mouth, I went out to the concession area and bought some tea. I had a little time to walk around and see if anyone knew if there was some way I could get my hands on a set list, but struck out. As I was walking back toward the seating area, I heard the crowd cheering and screaming…basically losing their minds…and I ran to my seat just in time to see Prince make his way to the piano on the stage.
Starting the show with a medley (several seconds each) of “When Doves Cry”, “Pop Life”, “Hot Thing”, “Darling Nikki”, “Sign O The Times”, “Black Sweat”, “Nasty Girl”, “Erotic City”…mind you at this point I’m already in tears…
Yes. I cried. Didn’t even realize it because I was juking so hard and was out of my mind over finally seeing this man on stage. When I heard the first chords of “Kiss” and the arena let out a resounding “Ughh!”, I was on cloud nine! I have to say I was seating in a great area; not only was my seat awesome, but everyone around me was as hype as I was. Dancing down the aisles and singing our hearts out, it was an amazing experience!
Well…there was one exception.
This guy (above), throughout the concert, was just standing there. Just standing; he didn’t move, he didn’t dance, he just stood (in the way, mind you). The only reason I knew he was alive was because he was drinking a beer. Then he had the nerve to look at folks like they were crazy for dancing and having a good time. I worried that he was plotting on someone because he was that stoic…come to think of it, I thought he had a date with him. They walked off and when he came back, the woman wasn’t with him. Wonder if a woman was reported missing that night? He was creepy…
Ah, but I digress…I didn’t let that guy, or my imagination, bug me for too long. Prince wouldn’t let me…
With a setlist that included:
- Take Me With U
- Which Way Is Up (cover)
- Raspberry Beret
- Cool (cover)
- Let’s Work
- U Got The Look
At this point, Prince took a short break; I was sweating from dancing and vibrating from all the great energy surrounding me. Everyone, with the one exception, was having SO much fun! The back-up singers got on stage and performed Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” and they did a wonderful job. I thought an usher would appear by my seat with a collection plate; the ladies took it to church.
After the backup singers’ moving performance, Prince came back on stage and performed:
- Somewhere Here On Earth
- I Love U But I Don’t Trust U Anymore
- She’s Always In My Hair
- Welcome 2 America
- Purple Rain
I swear, the man played his guitar in such away it makes you wanna sin…or maybe it just has that effect on me *smile*…When the lighting changed and I heard the piano intro for “Purple Rain”, I got teary. For years, I watched the movie at home and putting an imaginary lighter in the air when him and The Revolution blow Morris Day out of the water…and in my lifetime, I was able to hear him perform this song live. It moved me.
It was somewhat bittersweet though, because “Purple Rain” seems like it would be the perfect song to end with and I didn’t want the concert to be over.
The fools that actually left their seats, and started heading for the exits, had to come running back when the rest of us hollered our excitement at Prince and the band, along with Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings, walking back on the stage to perform “Love Bizarre” as an encore. So I was thrilled when I saw SJTDK, since I missed their earlier performance. They look as though they were having a great time on stage. After getting us all hyped up again, they left the stage and I looked at the time on my phone. I sat down because I knew that couldn’t be it; he would have to come back out at least one more time. And he did. So we got a second encore; a red-light encore *grin*…for this segment, he performed:
- If I Was Your Girlfriend
I just about screamed myself hoarse when I heard the beginning of “Scandalous”. If you know me, you know that song right there is the one…I love the hell outta that song (it holds a special place in my heart since it was on the Batman soundtrack and has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid). When he segued into “Adore”, I felt like collapsing! I was extremely envious of the girl who was pulled up on the stage…having Prince sing “Adore” to you seems like a blessing…come to find out it was some “Gossip Girl” actress…WOMP WOMP. I think it would have been more special if the lucky girl was of the non-celeb variety…I’m just saying. LOL…that said, the entire red-light segment was hot. And once again, Prince bid us all a good night and left the stage. I flopped into my chair and fanned myself, thinking “Is this the end of the show?” Nope…but I will say, I was satisfied at that point and would have been fine if there was not other encore to be had…
Everyone came back on the stage again and got the crowd moving with “Dance (Disco Heat)”, which is apparently a Sylvester cover. He brought a group of people up on stage and apparently that group included Jimmy Fallon and Mos Def. (Side note: Do you know how much I love Mos Def…maaaaaaaaaan….) Going from that song into “Baby I’m A Star” and we were all jumping and singing along. At the end of that song, he left the stage again. And people started heading for the exits again, but the majority of us stayed where we were and chanted for more. I checked the time again and thought that might have been the end, but I stayed where I was, just in case.
Then the band came back out and we all heard the organ play…”Dearly beloved, we gathered here today to get through this thing called life…” We all knew the words to “Let’s Go Crazy”, so of course we all yelled them out. Hollering and dancing, it was so. freaking. AWESOME! In what was to be the last encore for the evening, Prince performed:
- Let’s Go Crazy
That concert, and overnight trip to NYC, was worth every dollar I spent. My pockets were extremely light afterwards, but looking at the many pictures I took, listening to my CDs and MP3s, remembering how much fun it was to see Prince in concert, all those things made it easier to do without some things and stick to the bare necessities. If I had the extra money, I would have totally bought tickets, caught a plane, and went to last night’s show. And it would have been worth it to see Kim Kardashian get kicked off the stage for failing to dance with Prince. I mean, really? Do you know how much of a privilege that is, Kardashian? To get a chance to be that close to greatness and shimmy? You could have at least done the two-step or something! But according to US Magazine, she got another chance and this time she actually danced.
I pray he does another concert series…Have Prince – Will Travel
- Prince Kicks Kim Kardashian Off Stage at Concert (omg.yahoo.com)
- Prince Serenades ‘Gossip Girl’ Leighton Meester! (spin.com)
- Prince Keeps The Party Hot At Madison Square Garden ‘Welcome 2 America’ Show (newsroom.mtv.com)
- Prince calls celebs on stage to party at NYC show (omg.yahoo.com)