Prince On Every Tour: Purple Rain
After the We Can F**k leak and the spiral of simultaneous listening and sobbing, frustrated sighs and “It’s too funky” head bobs, I’ve decided that tonight would be a good night for this. I was gonna wait til my deluxe set got here, but it’s not coming til the 28th and I have a flight to catch the next morning. And I do not recommend scurrying around LAX as a zombie. Plus, @the-beautiful-1 and I will be attending The Revolution concert out here in sunny (sweltering) CA, the same day that the deluxe set will be officially released. The timing just seems right.
PURPLE RAIN. SYRACUSE. MARCH 30, 1985. LET’S GET INTO IT.
He is here yall. Prince. PRINCE. The megastar, the legend, the icon. Seven years and five albums in, he has finally, FULLY arrived, and fiercely so. He has arrived and has, if I may borrow from @just-prince-things, snatched our “proverbial wigs” (maybe even some real ones).
He opens by telling us he’s come to play with us. And play, he did. Played with my entire life in a 2 hour show. He rises from beneath the stage amidst a cloud of smoke and a sick wind machine, wearing the most glorious white boa we’ve ever seen atop the moto jacket/fitted pants combo 2.0: paisley, paisley, and more paisley. We love it.
He immediately launches into Let’s Go Crazy while we are still collecting ourselves from him simply rising from the depths of the stage. Insane guitar playing ensues as he and Wendy verify that they, in fact, created the stanky leg. History, ladies and gentleman. Six minutes and twenty-two seconds in, jacket and boa have disappeared in a literal flash of light and we’re basically shirtless as a very funky Delirious plays. Thank you Prince.
His stage presence is that of 1999 but amplified times 100. As stated, I am firmly of the belief that he had “it” during the 1999 tour we just weren’t really that aware of how IT his it was. Here, he knows it, and we for doggone sure know it now. Who was that friend of friend playing that small club in Paris in a bikini? Because this is an entirely different man. This whole era is an “I told ya’ll so” from Prince to the rest of us. He is 100% in his element, he has mastered all aspects of Prince the artist, and everything that happens after this is literally him doing whatever he wanted to. Because he’d earned it.
Dancing, while still very extra, is on POINT. He has perfected his mic tricks, his splits are here and not going away for the next decade+, he still is a ball of energy, even smoother and more graceful than 1999. That energy is infectious watching 30 years later, so I can’t even imagine what that room felt like. A room that is full of 50,000 people. 50,000 people that this 5'2 man in more paisley, lace, and makeup than I as a woman will probably never even see in my lifetime has, by a mere 26, completely and utterly entranced with every song, movement, look, you name it. Everything he was able to elicit from these huge crowds of people, night after night at such a young age reconfirms how truly magnetic he was. He is just as much the audience’s leader as he is the group of metallic, Victorian Prince look-alikes playing on stage with him.
Now, we can argue about that description, but all those things are true. Be honest. It’s okay. We love them too, the final and most well-known iteration of The Revolution. We’ve seen yet another personnel change (hey Dez, don’t you like his band? …sorry couldn’t resist), yet the sound is even tighter. Demanding the stop on the 2 and then wanting 25 during the Possessed jam and them delivering it flawlessly is a testament to how much they’ve all grown as a unit. And if you’ve watched that rehearsal footage an unhealthy number of times like I have, you can attest to all the work they put into it. The addition of the horns (HEY SITH LEEDS ) really gives their sound a new depth that continues to evolve over the years (which I love - horns are phenomenal). Wendy fit like a glove and her comfort on stage being as young and new as she was is pretty incredible. She’s a ball of energy herself here, and her guitar skills are straight SICK. Plus Wendy got that funk.
The band’s dancing has mimicked P’s in it’s progression as well. The coordinated steps between Wendy, Prince, and Brownmark are nice to see and adds another fun little element to the show that we haven’t seen executed at this capacity yet. Even something as simple as the side to side from the entire band during the Possessed jam just makes you wanna groove a little harder. And umm…hello Baby I’m A Star steps? I meeannnnnn…
If 1999 was the emergence of daddy, Purple Rain was the 100 exclamation points after that statement that really drove home the idea. I typically don’t spend a whole lot of time with PR because, haven’t we all spent SO MUCH time here? But every time I revisit, I’m reminded why I love PR Prince oh so much.
This show was chock-full of hits and jams and grooves ya’ll. I’ll have to narrow this down. Just…hang with me through this.
First of all, Let’s Go Crazy was so good, it truly could’ve been a closer. To start a show off on that note is bold, because it left me thinking “well where else can he possibly go after THIS?” the first time I watched this concert. So many places Stephanie. So many.
Take Me With You was a fun time, and then it got to a place of incredible funk at the end and it deserved to be mentioned.
How Come was ALMOST my favorite number based upon the gif above, and that gif alone. I’m. Still. Growing.
God always holds a special place in my heart because it’s a beautiful song and his vocals ALWAYS stun me. Live versions are just….transcendant.
Clearly classics from this show: Computer Blue (such a life giving guitar solo, honestly), Darling Nikki (come through shirtless body roll, come THROUGH), Purple Rain (by far amongst the greatest guitar playing I’ve ever heard/seen in my life here), and of course the marathon that is Baby I’m A Star. So much funk ya’ll. There’s just so much funk. And he is relentless about it. It’s why I love him. Yes, tell me when I’ve had enough. And I’ll end that train of thought there. Bye.
When Doves Cry gets a mention for - you guessed it - the insane jam at the end. Almost every song on this show is tagged with a sick groove afterwards, making this show go on for much longer than necessary. But I welcome it all. Everyone jammed on this song. Everyone. And I Would Die 4 U is such an elating ditty as is, but live…fantastic. However, my favorite live performance of this song will forever be from the Landover show. I was on my FEET ya’ll.
The Beautiful Ones. RUNNER UP. Easily my favorite song off of the original PR album and THE BEST PEFORMANCE FROM THE MOVIE PLEASE FIGHT WITH ME ABOUT IT. But this performance was just, magical. First of all, we get graced with another boa, pink this time. And he comes out looking like a glorious, headbanded angel in another sparkly, paisley suit and the combination of all those things takes my breath away okay?!
But if I have to choose a number that edges out the rest of these, for me, it’s Irresistible B***h/Possessed. There are few things that bring me more joy than the live version of Irresistible B***h. It’s already one of my go-to’s, but the dancing paired with it during this show takes the cake. Then we have Possessed and the undeniable groove with the band that ensues added to it? Yeah. This is the winner.
(originally posted by @onlyprincegifs)
So many outfits in this one. So many moto jacket/matching pants combos in different lace and paisley iterations. I loved them all tbh.
Honorable mention to the Computer Blue poncho/headband/lace fingerless gloves combo. The mess is brilliant. Also the glittery hooded cape/headband combo from Purple Rain.
I really enjoyed TBO’s outfit because he looked magical and beautiful and maybe it brought a tear to my eye because I love him so much. BUT. I am going with the black, sparkly, lace-back-of-the-pants suit during Possessed as runner up. Winner is the all white lace number also with matching poncho and train during I Would Die 4 U. Again, headbanded angel made of pure light. He’s BEAUTIFUL ya’ll. And I wanna know who caught that shirt and if they still have it!
Still Would Rating:
So like…I know lookswise not much changed between 1999 and PR. The hair got a bit bigger and the suits got a lot more lace and paisley. However I can always tell the difference. And for some reason 1999 Prince has an edge over PR Prince and I can’t quite place my finger on why. Anyway, he still gets a five. I just wanted to share that.
Good GRIEF ya’ll. This show left me so tired. I am spent. I feel like I swam laps in an Olympic sized pool. And I watched this from my bed. How did ya’ll manage at these actual concerts? I mean, really. This show….was phenomenal. This is the height of his success (and I don’t say that to take away from any other era, this is just fact) and we clearly see why. What a showman. What an artist. What a musician. What a leader. WHAT. A. PRINCE.