Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Prince - O2 Arena

Our group of six split into three groups of two sat in various locations throughout the arena; me and Jenny, Debbie and Ricardo and Prim and Michelle. Jenny rang Debbie and after borrowing our neighbours purple feather boa and waving it frantically in the air we soon found her situated on the balcony above and behind us. We then tried the same trick with Prim. Apparently he could see us (who couldn't) but we missed him from way down in front of the stage.

We had our personal fascist security guard giving everyone into trouble for taking pics with our phones so I tried to take a picture of him.

The pre-concert music was lovely, oriental and Russian sounding music reminiscent of sad eastern European films full of peasants and suffering and repressed love.

I like the smell of lavender coming from the purple flowers in my hair.

Prince rises onto the stage with a couple of dancing girls from a trapdoor in the floor appropriately with the expected smoke et al. He opens with a little teaser of "Party like it's 1999" moving into some funky guitar playing - mmm lavender - then starts singing...Tina Turner's "Rolling"? Dylan's "All around the Watchtower"? and the Foo Fighter's "The Best of You". Everyone was tres confused.

Ouch every time I reach into my bra to take an illicit picture from my phone hidden there I pinch the flesh.

Everyone is up dancing at this point not really giving a shit he's playing a series of covers mixed into each other. It sounds great. The wee man then gets a bunch of the audience up to dance on stage. Kudos to the black suited baldy guy with some killer funk moves. Unfortunately the spotlight was taken by a "kinda fly for a white guy" impersonator in what looks like a green knotted hanky on his head and white tracksuit. His moves included a loping "running man" while swinging his arms form side to side. V entertaining though.

Is that Ben Elton on piano? Everyone else exits the stage and this dude plays Louie Armstrong's "Wonderful World". I run for a pit stop. There's two entrances into the loos and the girls on our side are on the ready to run into the next cubicle before the other side do, egging each other on. Literally. It was like a kids game show or something.

When I return Prince is alone on stage behind the piano crooning to the enraptured audience, occasional high squeaking noises emenate from him and he teases about taking his clothes off. Jennifer beside me emits a husky sigh of "oh my god" then she asks wouldn't I love to have Prince sing to me. Have to say I aint tha tway inclined but apparently all the other women, and not a few men, were. Kate Aidee my friend from Jersey would love this.

I get up and jump about to another cover, The Beatles "Come Together" and then Prince declares "Music heals all". Aw that's nice. He again teases the audience by asking whether they want "Sign of the times" and "Raspberry Beret" (I hoot at this) but goes instead into "You are my Girlfriend" which I've never heard of. God I hope he plays Raspberry Bunnet. Ooh then he plays a song that sounds like "Workin a sweat" but it's got interesting UFO noises like wot's in that song by CCS "Let's Make Love and Listen to Death From Above".

Finally a biggie I recognise "Kiss" comes on (I'm desperately awaiting "Get Up") and I find myself making up belly dancing routines. "Purple Rain" closely follows and can kinda see why Jenny was getting all husky earlier although I'm slightly worried by her fist waving close to my face in time with the music. He sings the line ""I never wanted to be your weekend lover" which I found appropriate to my circs but I murmured to myself "it's better than nought". Me and Jen go back to back to do this crazy air guitar solo that is truly brilliant to behold.

This review isn't about technicalities of music or performance but how the wee man made his fan's feel and how good times were had. He performed to all expectations in this regard. But the music was excellent too. As if it wouldn't be.

Now Prince kids on he's away so I run out for another beer but the bar is closed. I rush back just in time for "Raspberry Beret". Yay! (I used to have a raspberry bonnet and I loved it so).He cuts it short to go into "When Doves Cry" and - oh my god the excitement of it all - "I Wanna be your lover" which aforementioned friend Kate Aidee walked down the aisle to.

The concert has turned into a frantic mega mix but it's keeping everyone on their toes and the three hours has passed in no time. Jenny says it was much better than when she's saw him last (Monday!) The gay clich├ęs behind us complain about all the covers he did when he has so many songs but he entertained and the crowd loved it. Non diehard Prince fans like myself benefited as I don't know or particularly like his more obscure things and it was nice to see him performing a range of other popular music throughout the last few decades a la Prince funk stylee.


Anonymous said...

It was a fantastic large stadium concert...Prince obvioulsy has a connection with his fans and really makes tham feel part of the show. There were more hits played than mentioned but that aftershow was the highlight of the night!!! He played for another 3 hours in a much smaller venue and was a much more intimate experience. If you ever wanted to see Prince there are still tickets..go! He's vowed to give up after this tour and says he will no longer play any of his hits agian!!! He really is one of the great talented musicians of his time! A cross between Jimi Hendrix and James Brown!!! In short the man's a genius!!!

ladyho said...

I got into trouble by the Jenster for neglecting to mention he opened on "Let's Go Crazy"...I didnae know what the hell it was!