Since my youth I have been a Prince fan but never a Prince FAN!! That said I have maintained in recent years that ‘if Prince comes again we should go to Sydney / Melbourne and check him out’.
I meant it. But without a band? Without the big sound? What then?
So news arrived: Sydney and Melbourne. Two weeks… How to wrangle holidays? How to get flights with no chance of early its tickets?
Fuck. Too soon.
I tweeted goals. Bucket goals. Life goals. Showed I would have gone without the commitment. Then, a day later; Perth!
No excuses. Yet Doubts. I mean… Where is the funk in a lone piano? What non-Rahzel can conjure magic from a microphone? What can fill the void of decades of superior production across decades?
Logic wins; once in a lifetime.
Dubious still though upon arriving at Perth Arena. On time but not early.
Prince can wait for beer. (Actually so can everyone it seems.) Inner voice says ‘guess he wasn’t so important’. Stupid inner voice.
Then movement. A buzz. Doubts dashed. Dashed against 88 keys and the skills of musical genius honed for half a century while others followed.
Extra 2 mins for beer? No biggie. WRONG! Be there. Be early.
From note #1 the Purple one was an undisputed Master of his instrument of choice. His choice of the night anyway.
Actually as he proved in many occasions he probably didn’t even need his piano at times. His voice is enough. Pure syrup. Warm and smooth. The range still vast. Again note perfect. Again Flawless.
For the record the piano was perfect too, and more than capable of filling out the songs to capacity. Solo? So what?
Whether his – so many across so many albums and eras – or Sly, Chaka, Cocker, it remained perfect. The songs often merging together. The segues seamless.
He played for crowd. He played to the crowd. At times he played 4 himself… ‘I’ has one syllable. ‘Prince’ has one syllable. ‘Perth’ has one syllable. He adapted the lyrics of classics to fit his whims. We were in the palm of his hand.
So many hits. So much proficiency. So zero missteps. (OK ‘Thieves in the Temple’ went on as long as Lotr 3). But you name your favourite three Prince songs; he played three of them.
Speaking of three. Three encores… (Four encores?). Each time making you exclaim “oh fuck he does this one too!”
Let me just say; Only the Originator can tease with 3 mins of Purple Rain then mid-way stray to an instrumental so effortlessly and without ruining a moment shared by ~ 10,000 without inviting outcry or retribution.
Kiss. Nothing Compares 2 U. I Would Die 4 U. Little Red Corvette. Some extended. Some abbreviated. Some… medlified?
How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore? became everyone’s favourite. Even before the extended singalong. And I didn’t even know I loved that song until tonight.
Actually, count me as one who waited without realising for 41 years that this was what I was waiting for. Not the fat band of hired guns (though that would be great). Not the dancing girls (ditto) but one man from Minneapolis.
One fro, one piano and 30 odd classics.
The songs we were there for we already knew were awesome. The stuff we didn’t know before tonight, fucking awesome.
I’ve waited decades, hopefully we needn’t wait more.
I will anyway…
My only advice. If you’ve never seen Prince – or even if you saw him last week – seize your chance.
Be there. BE EARLY. Be exhilarated.