SPOTLIGHT | PRINCE
photo manipulation by nacrowe
best show i've ever seen was PRINCE at MADISON SQUARE GARDEN on his MUSICOLOGY tour back 2004 (honorable mention goes to RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE at ROCK THE BELLS 2007). he had recently self-released his comeback album and this tour was basically a greatest hits package tour to appease his fans. it was so sick. i should also mention i had 8th row seats. sighhh, what a great time that was.
what i remember most about the actual show, other than thousands of people bringing out their umbrellas for the encore of "Purple Rain" (people had them on-hand because it was down-pouring outside), was PRINCE speeding around in a flurry of movement and virtuoso musicianship, seemingly at will. dude would be playing a solo while waddling around in a CHUCK BERRY-esque duckwalk, the throw his guitar without looking offstage to a roadie only to further slide into a keyboard and then pelvic thrust his way to a microphone, all in heels and in time. i mean, this was a SHOW. hadn't seen anything like it since and i'm sad to say he was the last of a breed. dude was a monster showman.
he could also get away with saying some pretty corny one-liners. at one point he was playing an acoustic guitar alone in the spotlight and played off the first couple bars of ELVIS PRESLEY's "Heartbreak Hotel" before halting abruptly and stating "you can't be no king without being no prince." indeed. i wasn't gonna argue.
i should mention that opening the show was MORRIS DAY AND THE TIME. seriously, how cool is that? after seemingly every song DAY would ask the crowd what they wanted to hear. an immense roar of "JUNGLE LO-O-O-O-OVE" would resonate loudly through the building. when he finally did play it the place GOT DOWN.
and i guess in summation that is the allure of this show to me 15 years later, the fact that you had so many people in the crowd dancing. it didn't feel like people were watching, rather they were participating in a great party. total communal experience. it was a religious experience. to this day i don't trust people that can't appreciate PRINCE. dude was a shaman, a high priest of FUNK.
amen to that.