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The Last Time I Saw Him On Stage: MSG December 18th, 2010… Not Great But Still Prince


Sinbad said we would be talking about the night we saw Prince at Madison Square Garden when we are in our rocking chairs.

Sinbad is right.

But we won’t be talking about this night.

Me? I’ll tell em about Prince’s set here on the Lovesexy Tour in 1988, a two and half hour rampage thru the hits plus tonnage off the album and any number of Sign O’ The Times songs. If maybe just a random concert, his 1997 Roseland one, where, reeling from the death of his son, Prince danced all over his blues with a creamy white guitar and faith in tomorrow. I stood at the front of the stage for the entire set.

Last night was the worst I’ve ever seen him and before the “comments” section goes crazy, let me explain I SAID HIM, PRINCE. He was still excellent.

A politically silly taped “Welcome To America” was followed by Sylvester’s “Dance” and from there there is no looking back. Around a third of the way thru he rolls out “Let’s Go Crazy”, “Delirious” and “1999”.

On “Shhh” Prince uses his falsetto to divine lengths and my only complaint with his Sheila E duet “You’ve Got The Look” is it wasn’t longer.

Earlier Prince had performed a pas de deux to “The Beautiful Ones” in the middle of a three song Purple Rain mini-set. He is a great dancer, not as technically proficient as an Usher, nor as aerobics inclined, but much funkier, much more willing to throw himself at the song. He looks like a miniature matador, and he comes across as a first rate funk extreme and this on a night when he wasn’t funking so hard.

“Youngsters, you know the Dirty Mind?” he inquires before launching into “Uptown”. Of course they do, but they sure ain’t getting “Head” tonight. This is all very PG-13 befitting the Jehovah’s Witness convert.

Mid-way Sheila E. performs a powerful “The Glamorous Life” -she looks incredibly sexy, banging the drums mid stage like a woman possessed. the last song of the set, in which, and here he loses bonus points, he invites visiting dignity’s like Jamie Foxx and Spike Lee on stage, to help perform a visually arresting but oddly iffy “A Love Bizarre”.

Just before that a pretty damn good “Kiss” found Prince running round the ankh shaped stage. Between the lighting and the band in the 0 of the ankh, and the excellent screen projections, the stage values were awesome. We would show you more, but Prince took down the 50 second of tape we had. Suggesting he is still the biggest asshole around with absolutely nothing to do with his life. If he can charge me $100 for the cheap seats, he should suck it up, the creep.

Yeah, he is a real creep. Except when he gets on stage. On stage, he is my best friend in the world though tonight not for long. So not his best? Funk deprived, bad ending, and a slim hour and three quarter set and so yes, the worst I’ve ever seen him.

And that ain’t remotely bad.

1. Welcome 2 America

2. Dance (Disco Heat)
(Sylvester cover)

3. Baby I’m a Star

4. The Beautiful Ones

5. Let’s Go Crazy

6. Delirious

7. 1999

8. Shhh


10. Raspberry Beret

11. Cream

12. Cool
(The Time cover)

13. Let’s Work

14. U Got the Look
(with Sheila E.)

15. The Glamorous Life
(Sheila E. cover) (with Sheila E.)

16. Nothing Compares 2 U

17. Purple Rain

18. Kiss

Encore 2:
19. A Love Bizarre
(Sheila E. cover) (with Sheila E. and Questlove)

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