I have a confession to make and some people may think I’m crazy. But I have never really been a fan of Prince. The Purple One. The artist formerly known as the artist formerly known as Prince. (No that’s not an accidental repeat).
But there are things I noticed. I remember a few years ago he came to Los Angeles to perform at the Staples Center. My co-workers back then were ecstatic. It was an event. People who had tickets requested time off surrounding it and it seemed like all they could talk about.
But to me it was no big deal. Outside of the Purple Rain soundtrack, he hadn’t kept me interested for an entire album. There were various songs I liked. Diamonds and Pearls and Adore come to mind. But that was about it.
Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for Prince. He is a genius. Undeniably supremely talented and definitely qualifies under the category of Legend.
But music is about connection. You could be talented but you’re not going to connect with everyone. I just didn’t get that connection.
I doubt Prince will lose any sleep because I didn’t connect with him. He has legions of fans.
But then one day back in April, I was watching something on tv and was in the right place at the right time. I saw a commercial for the now defunct George Lopez show. It advertised that Prince was coming through to takeover. The energy in the commercial itself was crazy. I immediately set the dvr as I wanted to experience first hand what the craze was about.
I get it now. He’s an ultimate performer and though I found that I didn’t particularly care for the songs he performed, I was brought in by the energy. I liked his showmanship. When he wailed on that guitar I got goose bumps.
During the interview portion of the show, it was revealed that Prince was kicking off his 21 nite stand at the Forum in Inglewood, Ca. I immediately thought to myself that my now former co-workers were going to go nuts. Then the next part made me raise my eyebrows.
George Lopez announced that most of the tickets for each of the 21 shows was $25. Prince explained by making honest comments regarding a ticket company I can’t stand.
For that price and with our shared hatred of that company, I got that connection. I wanted to see what the fuss was all about. So I went. I went twice as a matter of fact.
The energy in that building was amazing. The songs I did know had me singing along and songs I didn’t know still kept me captivated. Most of the crowd stood the whole time. Each song that began would cause a roar from the crowd.
I learned that Tevin Campbell’s song “Shhh” was actually written by Prince. I learned that Sinnead O’Connor’s famous hit “Nothing Compares 2 U” was also written by Prince.
The mail reason I loved the show and why I have so much respect for Prince is because at no time, at either show, did I ever feel like he was cutting back to $25 worth of show. It seemed like he was giving the same show that he would perform if the tickets were $125. Fortunately I took videos on my phone:
First I was surprised by who opened for him the second time I went (the first time Mint Condition opened).
That’s a major star. For $25? Nice. Then:
THEN (this one has received the most views on Youtube):
THEN HE BROKE OUT THE SHOWSTOPPER:
I’ve got others but you get the point.
I had the best time. I am now a bigger fan of Prince live than I am his studio recordings. Either way, I still have nothing but the utmost respect for the man, the legend, the genius that is Prince.