Prince proved to thousands last week that purple still reigns. After two nights at the Izod Center in NJ (12/15 & 17), his highness took the stage of Madison Square Garden (MSG) on December 18th.
There are many musicians, performers and entertainers that continue to tour in their latter years, but there are few that still bring the same energy as when they were in their prime. Prince is unquestionably one of the few that does. He still commands the stage today as he did 20 years ago. His purpleness sang mostly older tunes and a few that he’s more noted for writing and / or producing. The selection at MSG was perfect for a New York audience. The crowd roared when he sang “Uptown” from his classic Dirty Mind album. “Does anybody have a ‘Dirty Mind’,” he yelled as he played the fan favorite.
Prince lovers wowed when he sang penned hits like “Shhh,” which was initially released by Tevin Campbell; “Cool,” that was made famous by Morris Day & The Time; and “Nothing Compares to You,” a Billboard chart topper for Sinead O’Conner. Lalah Hathaway & Mint Condition joined his majesty for the first night in NJ; Maceo Parker was on deck for the second NJ date. Sinbad & Larry Graham opened for Mr. Nelson in New York on the 18th with special guest Sheila E. The set list was as follows:
INTRO: Sylvester’s “Disco Heat”
Baby I’m a Star
Beautiful Ones (accompanied by Misty Copeland doing ballet)
Let’s Go Crazy/ Delirious
U Got the Look (Sheila E enters the stage)
Nothing Compares 2 U
Prince did a solo dance number after singing “Kiss” as the band played on. He closed the show asking folks to join him on stage while he and Sheila E. did “Love Bizarre.” Among those on stage for the finale were: Sheri Shepard, Jamie Foxx, Cornell West, Spike Lee, Sinbad, Alicia Keys, John Leguizamo, Anthony Anderson and Whoopi Goldberg.
While the set was dynamic, for some longtime friends and fans it was a little short. Prince is known for doing 2 and a half to 3 hour sets. The show at MSG was 2 hours and change. Folks would not leave the Izod Center on the 17th until he returned to stage, singing another three songs with the house lights on. Over the years, the man from Minneapolis has always been very kind to his NY/ NJ audiences, accommodating their appetite for more. The “Welcome 2 America” Tour is back at MSG on December 29th and January 18th.
Long live the FUNK