I can’t complain too much for $25.00….
(But, I guess I will for a bit anyway…)
I finally saw Price again and honestly I was a somewhat letdown.
My only previous Prince experience was seeing him boo’d off the stage before the Rolling Stones. I think he made it through four songs before retreating off from the abuse….it was ugly. I’d always sort of wanted to see him do a full show since, but things just never clicked and I’d never gone. Of course during that time (the intervening 29 years or so)….I’d heard about the amazing shows that he put on. I mean, just reading reviews of the first two shows of this 21 night stand I’d seen references to Clapton, Hendrix and Santana. Hey, I’ve seen two of those three artists multiple times and that’s a VERY high bar for anyone to reach.
Sadly, the Prince show I saw last night never scaled those heights.
Friday night I’d say that it was a good show with some great moments. But the playing didn’t approach Clapton at his laziest. And for sheer guitar talent and prowess it didn’t approach Jeff Beck a few weeks ago in Pomona or Robert Randolph (February in Orlando) who I’ve already seen tear the roof off a venue this year alone. Prince did shred a bit on Controversy, I’ll give him that. And the stretch of Take Me with U>Raspberry Beret>Cream>Cool and Hollywood Swinging played after a rough-ish start flat out rocked. That was the high point of the show for me. That was after he reeled off five somewhat lesser known cuts to start the show. (At least to a casual fan (i.e. me) they were lesser known.)
The sound where we were sitting was horrible for bulk of the show. With the first few songs being a real train wreck of mixing…This rough mix took me back to the bad of days of arena shows when the vocals could be buried under a layer of sludge. It finally got somewhat sorted, but three days into a run in the same venue says to me that the mix should be worked out and much tighter.
But the biggest omission in the show that let me down was one of the sets that he’s played on the previous two nights…using internet set lists as my guide (Let’s Go Crazy > Delirious > Let’s Go Crazy reprise > 1999 > Little Red Corvette). Four of…and arguably maybe the four biggest of his hits. He also omitted “Nothing Compares to U” and “Kiss”. Heck, I love artists who change the setlist up every night. I actually love hearing an artists play their new material. When Elton John did 9 cuts off of Peachtree Road at Honda Center, I thought it was awesome. But, after those cuts he still played “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” and “Your Song”….both of which I’ve certainly heard lots, but expected he sort of had to play.
I was actually part of that old cliche demographic at this Prince show….I was “The guy who’s never seen this act before, who is a casual fan and may never see him again…” That makes me the guy that Springsteen plays “Born to Run” for; or the one that The Stones play “Satisfaction” for.
Couple that with a somewhat brief set, 19 songs including encores. Playing 90 minutes is average headliner length and nothing like the epic three hours he seems to have done last week on the opening show. I walked away from the show a bit let down.
Is it a value for twenty five bucks….undoubtedly.
He’s a great writer, has star charisma and a razor sharp band. But, it’s not even the best show I’ve seen this month, much less the “epic-life changing-spectacle” that people talk about his shows as being. It seems that the show I got was nothing like the show that reviewers seem to have gotten the night before and that is a letdown, because even at the low price this may have been my one shot at seeing him live.
At least no one boo’d this time.