March 31, 2015

Finally beloved we meet at last!!! (Reposted)

As some of you know, I managed to score tickets to the fourth and final show of Prince & 3rdEyeGirl's US 2015 Hit 'N' Run debut in Louisville.  The Louisville Palace was the sight and I must say that it was an amazing venue.  Having seen Prince several times, including aftershows, this had that personable, aftershow feel and it turned out to be everything I thought it would be. Now the show was on March 15th but I have intentionally waited to write my review.  I didn't want to write it immediately after the show when I was still on that "purple high" so now seemed like a good time. 
I took the two hour drive up I-65 to Louisville while jamming out to purple music.  I had made a few playlists to listen to on the way.  One was just a bunch of classic Prince tunes that I enjoy while the other was sort of my version of what Plectrum Electrum and Art Official Age would be as a single project (with a few other cuts not on the albums thrown in).  I had heard about line troubles getting in the night before so I tried to get there early.  I managed to make it to the Louisville Palace shortly after the beginning of the first show.  I guessed parking was going to be a problem but was able to easily find a spot in a parking garage directly across the street from the Palace.  After walking across the street, I talked to one of the security guards and he told me where the line would be. It turns out I was third in line.  There was a married couple in front of me and during conversation, it turns out that the wife and I went to high school together.  She was two years ahead of me and I hadn't seen her since '85 but here we were.  Small world, huh? Me and my fellow purple family members patiently stood in line and swapped stories about shows we had seen until finally it was time for us to enter.  Since the first show wasn't over yet, after you entered, you were ushered into the bar area which was sequestered from the main lobby. After two more encores, the first show finally ended and we waited for security to push the crowd out.  Finally we were allowed to enter the lobby and I immediately made my way to the merchandise table. They had vinyl for both albums and the usual shirts.  The one shirt I actually wanted was already sold out so I settled on the black tour shirt with the picture below on it. Then I was off to find my seat.
Seat located and now to wait.   I didn't have to wait too long though.  Out of the darkness and from behind the purple rain influenced curtain, we heard Hannah's voice.  She welcomed us all to Louisville and thanked us for coming to the show.  Then she gave us the phone warning, telling us not to use our phones for any pictures or videos.  She said, "Trust me, technology can not capture what you are about to witness on this stage tonight!" Then she was gone. 

You could feel the tension building in the crowd and then we heard it, "Dearly beloved....." and the crowd lost their minds.  From those opening lines all the way through the Frankenstein addition and back to the ending solo, Prince let us all know that it was gonna be one hell of ride.  Next was Take Me With U followed by U Got The Look.  Prince was all over the stage and was really interacting with the crowd.  After rocking out, it was time to cool down a little as we were lead into Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough.  That of course could only lead into Cool.  Louisville are you hot? NO! Do you know why? Cuz you COOL!!!! He brought a few folks up to dance on stage as he danced around the stage cuing the crowd and band. But when he yelled somebody dance with me and busted his dance moves, the crowd went nuts.  Then, after leaving the stage, Prince reappeared on the piano for a crowd singalong of Diamonds and Pearls before launching in to the full version of The Beautiful Ones.  This was followed by When Doves Cry (which I thought would be a snippet leading to the sampler set) and I was shocked it was the full version.  Prince asked, "How many of you remember the 80s?" which caused a huge response but not nearly as loud as when he asked, "How many of you were born in the 80s?" All of this lead to Controversy followed by 1999.  I was actually shocked about how many people were just standing around by this time.  When P asked, "Louisville, what do you wanna do?" As most of us die-hard fans were yelling, "PARTY!!!!!" there were plenty of people just standing there.  Next was the slowed down Little Red Corvette with the call and response of slow down.  Prince then delivered a heart felt and emotional Nothing Compares 2 U before saying "Thank you, Kentucky!! Goodnight!!"
After a couple of minutes, the crowd responded to the shadows on the stage and we heard Prince ask, "What should we play? How about Scandalous? Insatiable? I know, I know, how about Adore?"  Each question got a louder response but then he said, "I wrote all these songs and you know what? I play what I want, how I want and when I want! Hit me Hannah!" as Hannah cued the guitar loop for Kiss.  He played it much like most recent performances (U don't have to watch Real Housewives) to include the dancing breakdown after the normal end of the song.  And then he was gone again.

When he appeared again, he had his guitar with him and he said how much he loved that guitar before rocking out on Guitar.  That was quickly followed up by Plectrum Electrum and then Pretzelbodylogic.  Both songs allowed the band to rock out with Prince featuring Donna and Ida on solos throughout.  Finally it was Hannah's turn with Stratus and a breathtaking drum solo as she was left alone on stage.  I don't know how long it was but it seemed easily five minutes. I tweeted out that she rocked the solo so hard that she broke three of MY ribs.  Then she was gone too. The band appeared one last time and the show ended with Purple Rain.  Like Nothing Compares 2 U, this seemed very heart felt and his solos were screaming.  I've seen him perform this song live ten other times but this seemed the most emotional since I saw him on the Purple Rain Tour.  
And then it was over.  The lights were up.  The stage was being broken down and we sat. Dumbfounded.  Exhausted.  Emotionally spent.  Overdosed on purple music.  As most of you know, I had lost my faith in Prince after my experience on the opening night of Welcome 2 Chicago.  Well, now that faith has been renewed. Rekindled.  Once again, I had witnessed the greatest performer of our time and I had just experienced one of those "I was there" moments.  Now, like all purple junkies, all I can do is wait for my next purple fix.  Hopefully it comes soon.

Note:  Only the pics of the Palace are my photos.  The others were taken from Twitter and all credit should go to the original photographers.  Unfortunately, I don't remember who to credit.  Sorry.

This post originally appeared on my other blog, Are Friends Electric?

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