Thursday, March 02, 2006

Purple Prose

Hot damn.

Who knew Prince was such a good sideman?

As previously teased, last night Eye went 2 see Prince—erm, Xcuse me, Ta’mar with special guest Prince—play Philly’s Electric Factory. The show was scheduled 2 start at 11:59 p.m., which makes it that much cooler. And it was, needless 2 say, sold the hell out.

Now, there R some who would say it wasn’t a Prince concert.

But Eye don’t need 2 hear “1999” and “When Doves Cry” 4 it 2 B a Prince concert.

True, he didn’t play “1999” or “When Doves Cry.” Or “Raspberry Beret.” Or “Purple Rain” or “Diamonds and Pearls” or even “Batdance.” He teased with a couple chord riffs, but other than that, not a single Prince song was played the whole night.

“This ain’t my show,” he told the crowd. Indeed, the stage belonged 2 the Paisley God’s new protégé Ta’mar, a soulful chanteuse with 1 of the strongest sets of pipes Eye’ve heard in a long time. She wailed through a nearly 2-hour set of plenty of originals (new 2 us all, obviously) and smokin’ covers. “Don’t Stop Till U Get Enough.” “When a Man Loves a Woman.” Even “Play That Funky Music.” A couple others Eye’m not remembering right now, as well. Her voice was solid and well-showcased.

But despite outward appearances, this was a Prince show. He was perched stage right with a microphone, a slew of guitars and a wash of guitar effects pedals, and he spent the night wailing away on lead guitar. Nearly every song featured at least 1 or 2 searing solos, giving Ol’ Purple Eyes a chance 2 show off his instrumental skills (not 2 mention some hot backing vox).

The rest of the band was rounded out by a couple backing singers, a weighty bass, standard keys, and an industrial-looking woman whacking the fuck out of the drums. Seriously, girl was amazing. Drums might not’ve even been miked.

After cutting loose 4 nearly 2 hours, they cut the crowd loose just B4 2 a.m. Some were unhappy about paying 50 bucks 2 not C Prince play his hits—at midnight. But as far as Eye’m concerned, the chance 2 C him playing lead guitar and sing backup—4 an artist he obviously admires, not playing songs he’s sick and tired of playing 4 the millionth time, and so clearly and plainly having a ton of fun—is 1 of the best concert experiences Eye could ask 4.


At 2:51 AM, Blogger FriedOreo said...

What's the deal with the album title "3121"? The fact that the release date is 3/21 reminds me of the silly gimmick pulled by Usher for his album "8701", released on, you guessed it, 8/7/01.


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