If you haven’t seen Prince in concert, you are missing one of the best live performers to ever grace the stage.
I was lucky enough to catch him at his Saturday, May 14 show at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., and he tore the place to shreds with his kinetic energy, massive talent and infectious enthusiasm. At the beginning of his set, he proclaimed: “You are in the most fun place on Earth,” and he did everything in his power to turn that bold statement into reality for everyone in that audience.
Though I am a Prince fan (who isn’t?), I haven’t really been following him more recently, so I was eagerly anticipating what type of show he’d produce — and he did not disappoint.
The electricity in the room was palpable from the moment he appeared on stage — and “appeared” is exactly what he did. His band, The New Power Generation, was playing melodic music in the dark when the screens that were hovering above focused in on the silhouette of a man calmly lying in the middle of the stage. (By the way, the stage was shaped like his famous glyph symbol). You could barely make him out, but we all knew it was the purple royal himself. And when those lights came on and he sat up, the crowd went nuts. What a bold way to start a show.
Prince and his band played for two-and-a-half hours (with an impressive Sheila E. adding some spectacular drum solos), jamming harder and harder to get the crowd on its feet. He gave his all, nailing hits like “Nothing Compares 2 U” and “Purple Rain.” I imagine that it can be tedious for a performer to play the same songs thousands of times in concerts over the years, but by only playing snippets in a fast-paced medley it gave the crowd what they wanted without forcing him to play those same songs in full for the thousandth time.
But it’s more than just the music that makes Prince stand out; he has an irresistible charm. He frequently asked the audience to sing along, and he even brought audience members on stage to dance along with him (including stars Halle Berry and “The Office’s” Craig Robinson, who were great sports, dancing joyfully). Plus, it’s hard not to be drawn into his sensual charisma. It felt like he was flirting with the entire audience with his provocative dance moves and his smooth crooning. When he sang songs like “Take Me With You” and “When I Lay My Hands On You,” you could feel the temperature rise in the room.
The audience begged for him to return to the stage for multiple encores, even after the house lights were turned on. And ever the entertainer, Prince obliged and rocked it each time, ending with “Kiss” and “Play That Funky Music.” My wonderful mother was my guest to the show, and we both had an absolute blast, which is a testament to Prince’s multi-generational appeal. Do yourself a favor and catch one of his shows for his “Welcome 2 America” tour. You will not want to miss the opportunity to see this living legend prove why he is the one and only Prince of funk and soul.
To find out how you can get tickets for upcoming shows go to www.princetourdates.com.
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