I’ll admit I was a little skeptical when I learnt of the surprise announcement that one of the world’s most renowned artists would be touring sans full band, and only with the basics of a piano and a microphone. But you know, it’s Prince, and I’d be a fool to miss it.
I was wrong to doubt, and a fool I would’ve been had I bypassed this concert.
This Perth leg of his tour proved to be what is possibly the performance viewing of my lifetime; from start to finish, Prince was electric and engaging. Adorned in his true to Prince glam style, he also wore heeled shoes that lit up red when he jammed away at his elegant, white piano, and when he strutted around the central-set stage surrounded by psychedelically patterned visuals. Two giant screens were raised above him so those in the nosebleed section (me) did not miss any of his antics.
Prince is not the most modest of folk, as was demonstrated by his humorous banter, but he undeniably has the wares to back it up. An accomplished musician, he enticed us with a medley, kicking the show off with I Would Die 4 U. Appropriately, the crowd went nuts, and continued to do so as he took us on a journey through his hits (such as Raspberry Beret, Controversy, Thieves in the Temple, Cream, and Diamonds and Pearls), led by astounding vocals and exemplary pianism. Prince also teased us with some material from his new album, “Hit n Run Phase Two”, which sees him taking a turn towards funk, and rhythm and blues. Incidentally, copies of this album were handed to each attendee on exit of the venue.
Purple Rain, I feel, would likely have been the biggest crowd-pleaser; my only annoyance with this, as with many of the other well-known songs he played, was that it was not played in its entirety. Very few songs were, in fact. Despite this, this ultimate showman did not disappoint. Unfortunately, due to the strict no mobile phone usage stipulation from the artist, I was not brave enough to defy these wishes to take photos, and in fact, staff reprimanded several people caught using their phones during the show. To me, if you’re going to insist on using Facebook during a Prince show, you don’t deserve to be there.
Prince generously returned for several encores, breaking our hearts and cheekily piecing them back together until the final heartbreaking encore set commencing with Nothing Compares 2 U. To say the applause was thunderous would be an understatement. What I can say is that one thing’s for certain – there is no doubt why Prince is so well loved.
What a guy.
Written by Deanne Peacock
Artwork by Magali Fazio