13 May Prince Troubadour Review: 1st Show
What was supposed to happen Tuesday night, Prince rocking the Troubadour, actually happened Wednesday with not 1, but 2 shows at the legendary venue.
Prince told Ann Powers back in December 2008 that “Tell the Troubadour, I want to play there.” It took a few years but Prince did it.
As people were being let into the venue, there was Prince, on stage looking over things. Prince told the people around “I counted my guitar picks so don’t take any.” A girl in front of him said “I am excited for this show tonight, Prince.” He replied “Me too. I actually am just going to listen tonight,” pointing to his left as sax man Mike Phillips was setting up.
Prince left as the crowd around me started to talk.
A man said “If I cry like a little baby, just know it’s OK because it’s Prince.”
Another male said “It’s a dream. I am less than 10 feet away from him!”
A first timer of seeing Prince is told “expect amazingness and nothing else.”
A female says “I feel like a little kid.”
These people know. Prince is the greatest live performer alive today and to see him in a venue like the Troubadour is like your first kiss, your first love, 4th of July fireworks and your best birthdays all rolled into one.
The band takes the stage without Prince. It features keyboardist Renato Neto, Ida on bass, drummer John Blackwell, and Mike Phillips, who just got the call 24 hours ago to play with Prince, on sax.
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They go into Stratus with Mike Phillips playing “One Nation Under A Groove” into his vocoder. Prince joins trading guitar riffs with Mike Phillips solo’s. The crowd is already hot and Prince reaches to cool them down.
He pulls out “Power Fantastic” a rarely performed gem from the 80’s. It’s like if you did not already know the night was special, he was letting you know I am gonna put some cherries on top of it. Mike Phillips goes into a solo during the song as Prince playfully towels him off.
Prince goes to the keyboards to his left and starts what sounds like “I Love U, But I Don’t Trust U Anymore” but it actually turns into “Somewhere Here On Earth” and Prince’s vocal delivery is stunning. Later in the song, he actually did go into “I Love U, But I Don’t Trust You Anymore” so my ears were not deceiving me.
Someone from the crowd yelled “I Love You Prince!” and he replied “No you don’t!” and I wondered if it was Kim Kardashian who was upstairs enjoying the show.
Prince then goes into “Boom!” but plays an instrumental version of the heavy on guitar rock song which goes over well with the crowd. “We are just having fun. We hope you are to.” Prince tells the crowd during the song. Prince then says “Y’ll ready for this?” while pulling the mic stand away and going into an instrumental that was written on the set list as “Jazz Swing In C” and has the entire band jam on it.
Ida, the female bass player was on, and just like earlier during “Stratus” she was slapping the bass hard, and was feeling it on many levels. He then brought up a female singer without introducing her; Andy Allo and she performed Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” and if I had enough room, I just might have. Mike Phillips went into “Computer Love” in the middle of it as Andy brought it back to “Let’s Get It On” and Mike ended it with “I Want To Be Your Man” and Prince and Andy hugged.
Prince went into “Colonized Mind” as he chilled to our left and just sang the song. Later, he picked up the guitar and went into a solo that lifted the song and level of the place.
Prince then said “I am going to play you a new song. It’s called “When She Comes”…….all right then.
Prince started by saying “When she comes, she doesn’t close her eyes.” Repeated it a few times and then someone from the crowd said “Take your time Prince!” Prince looked up “We got a bootlegger in the house. Wanting me to take my time.”
Prince it seemed started and stopped the song a few times, at one point, running over to Ida n taking the bass out of her hands to play it and then hands it back a few minutes later. He then has Phillips play a sax solo but Prince takes the mic stand away from him and throws Phillips a look that makes him crack up before he continues to play.
“When She Comes, She leaves her eyes open. When she flies, It’s hard to accept in time she is rather fine.”
Prince then wants Blackwell to brush the bass symbol and he is loving it.
Prince then goes into the start of “Shh” and Morris Hayes takes over the boards where Prince was playing. Prince does not go into “Shh” but a new song he has been performing at his Forum shows, “U Will Be….With Me” and kills it.
I know u’ve got somebody
I think that’s cool
But there sho enuff ain’t no law against me trying to pursue
I picture the outcome, his income versus mine
The way I see it, baby, it’s only a matter of time
U will be… u will be… u will be with me
Just like the Forum he has the people chant it and let’s the fellas take over it n the last time the females as he let’s out a laugh before going into the last verse of “Shh” and letting Blackwell solo and him end with a blistering guitar solo.
Prince then gives his guitar to the person in front of the stand and he looks like he is going to pee in his pants…or something else. Prince smiles, comes back to him, takes the guitar and shakes the guys hand, and walks away, but comes back again and gives the guy a high 5.
Prince then goes into “Controversy” and I think this is what is must have been like to hear the song at 1st Avenue in Minneapolis back in the early 80’s, but even smaller, and even funkier.
Prince goes into Musicology after and turns it into an all out jam session with the band. Prince is smiling and having a good time. One moment , for some reason, he mentioned some guy named Frank during the song and pointed and then venue people were looking for him, found him, and promptly escorted him out. Hmm. Earlier in the show, he did point at somebody for a while and said “Security” with a smile n they were all over that person as well.
Prince pretends to leave but then lays down a beautiful version of “A Case Of U” by Joni Mitchell. Just amazing. Renato Neto and Mike Phillips play on the middle part as Prince brings it back.
Prince blows a kiss to the crowd as the band walks away. The crowd cheers, stomps their feet as the “We want Prince” chants start.
Prince and the band come out and play “Pop Life” and turn it into a jazz jam session again.
They leave again only to come back as Prince plays “Beggin’ Woman Blues.” Prince has fun with the crowd while singing the song as the audience laughs at the right parts.
“Thank you so much. We are playing the Forum this weekend. Please check us out.”
Prince, who plays every show like he is playing for 80,000 people, brings the intimacy you expect from a small venue artist. He just bled my mind. He blew everyone else’s. You could tell, if this crowd did not have everything that Prince ever made, they were going to go to Amoeba Records n buy out everything they had in stock.
I was left smiling. An amazing show from the greatest of all time. Then it set in. I am going to be fortunate enough to see him perform again, as he was doing a 2nd show later that night.
My review of that coming up.-Dr.FB
Diagnosis: Prince & The Power Fantastic
BTW: on set list was a song called “Big Apple Scrapple” that he did not play.