Sunday, September 12, 2004

The Artist Formerly Known As Prince

Jon got some sort of cheap/promo tickets to Prince, and couldn't go on account of going hiking, so I went with Danielle to the concert on Saturday (surrogate boyfriend -- some things never change).

I was impressed, Prince puts on a good show. I've never been a huge Prince fan, but I grew up in the 80's and knew most of the songs that made him big. The crowd was overwhelmingly female, with the ratio somewhere around 5:1. The line at the girl's bathroom during intermission was absurd; I saw a couple of women who went in and used the stalls in the men's bathroom, and I was surprised that there weren't more.

The concert was broken down into three parts. The first was a medly that ran for a little under an hour, where he worked most of his older songs into it somewhere. After that was an intermission, after which Prince came back on by himself with an acoustic guitar and played a number of songs. He had a humorous little bit where he had a simple blues number about "the rules"; I can't remember all of them, but I'm sure they're on some magnetic thing you can put on the fridge, but it went something like:

  1. My house, my rules

  2. Sunday is sports day.

  3. Shopping is not a sport.

  4. I'll give you my money, my credit cards, anything -- just don't make me go shopping with you

  5. If you have to talk, please, please, please do it during a commercial.

After a few more songs, the rest of the band came on and he transitioned back into his full production. He ended with a cover of Led Zepplin's "Whole Lotta Love", which completely lost the crowd. It didn't help that the female singer he brought on to sing it made Robert Plant sound like a master of precise diction.

After that the lights went out except for a few purple lights sweeping the stage and the Prince symbol (with purple background) on the monitors. The crowd was deafening for about 10 minutes, after which he came back on, having switched the red suit he was wearing for most of the night for a purple one, so he could do -- you guessed it -- an extended "Purple Rain" for an encore.


Getting out of the parking lot looked to be a total madhouse, so Danielle and I walked down Santa Clara street looking for somewhere to hang out. We ended up in a Sharks-themed sports bar next to Speido's because it was about the only place still open. We had a couple drinks and munched on 100-year-old pretzels while waiting for the traffic to die down.

For $15 tickets, it was a damn good show.

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