Monday, October 01, 2007

"U're just 2 much 2 take - I can't stop I ain't got no brakes..."

I have never been a fan of Prince, or the Artist Formerly Known As Prince, or Symbol, or whatever he's calling himself these days, but I have to admit that the man puts on a helluva show.

Hubby and I have been on vacation in Europe for the past month, and some friends of ours scored four tickets to see the little purple one on the last of his 21-night stand at London's O2 Arena. Of the four of us, I was the only Prince virgin - hubby, Rockin' and Lou have all seen him a number of times, including Earl's Court, Hammersmith and a couple of times in Paris. I was also the only one who was dubious about going, because he's simply never really appealed to me. I mean, there are a few of his songs that I really like (Delirious, When You Were Mine) but I guess I just got so burned out on the whole Purple Rain phenomena that I kind of wrote him off.

My bad!

He's a superb showman and certainly gave us all our money's worth. On top of that, I was staggered by the number of songs that I knew - me, who doesn't own a single Prince album (unless you count the 12" of Erotic City) - recognized nearly every song he performed that night. And boy did he play a lot of them: nearly 3 hours worth of funkin' us up! Time just flew by too - always the mark of a good performer when you are enjoying yourself so much that you don't realize that three hours have passed.

The arena itself was very clean and nice - perhaps because it is so new (it's the former Millennium Dome) and perhaps it's because the British are more conscientious about trash and litter (no food was allowed inside the arena), but the whole experience was top notch. There was a good variety of food and beverage vendors on hand - everything from the standard burger and chips/fries to pasta and baked spuddies. They also had a good beverage selection (Becks, Boddingtons, alco-pops, wine and spirits) and prices weren't nearly as ghastly as they are at U.S. venues.

Upon entering the O2 everyone was given a free copy of his Musicology CD and a purple glow stick. Most of the crowd milled around the vending areas, eating, drinking and shooting the shit until the announcement came that the show would begin soon. I thought that was pretty cool, having never been to a show where they informed you ahead of time how long you had to finish your food and drink. They made an announcement at 30 minutes, and again at 15, giving us all ample time to find our seats. When the lights went down the sight of 23,000 glow sticks was really magical to see. And everyone went absolutely bonkers the moment His Purpleness hit the stage.

Here's the set list. Feel free to be jealous!

I Feel For You
Controversy/Housequake
Somewhere Here on Earth
Cream
U Got the Look
Musicology
Chelsea Rogers
Sexy Dancer/Le Freak
A Love Bizarre
Pass the Peas

Solo piano set
Diamonds & Pearls
The Beautiful Ones
Little Red Corvette
I Would Die 4 U
Under the Cherry Moon
Sometimes it Snows in April

Purple Rain
Take Me With You
Guitar
Kiss
Let’s Go Crazy

Encore
1999
Nothing Compares 2 U

Solo synth medley
Sign O The Times
When Doves Cry
Darling Nikki
I Wanna Be Your Lover
Erotic City
Alphabet St.
DMSR
Delirious
Gett Off (Housestyle)
The Ballad of Dorothy Parker
Irresistible Bitch
The Most Beautiful Girl in the World
Raspberry Beret

Second encore
When U Were Mine
Girls & Boys

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