By Dennis J. Freeman
Inglewood, CA-Seeing Prince perform live is like watching great artists execute their greatness while others bask in the glow of their creative mastery.
During his heyday as the reigning Purple Majesty of pop/rock/funk, Prince could throw down a concert like it was nobody’s business.
At the ripe age of 52, Prince can still put it down for three frenetic, high-energy hours and still leave you gasping for more.
The standing room only audience jammed into the famed Inglewood Fabulous Forum to see Prince perform during the beginning of his “Welcome 2 America/21 Nite Stand” Los Angeles tour, can attest to this. I certainly can. Prince, the greatest guitar rock funkster of our generation, still has the moves, the grand stage presence and musical deftness to pull off a high-powered, spectacular show.
The man is simply electrifying. I had attended a Prince concert right after he began his “Purple Reign” tour during the mid-1980s. To this day, that was the greatest performance on stage I have ever seen. Having an opportunity to see Prince live again, was simply too good a chance to pass up, especially given the fact he did the unthinkable of slashing most of all tickets to a mere $25.
What I and the rest of the Forum crowd got for our money was old school Prince. Minus performing some of his most raunchy hit tunes and jumping off of 10-foot speakers in high heels as he used to do, Prince gave the Forum crowd a night to remember.
Old school, new school, it doesn’t matter. Prince is Prince. And he showed why on the second night of his impromptu, 21-day stand.
After percussionist Sheila E. and the Escovedo Family did their thing in opening up for the Purple One, Prince revved up the show by making his stately entrance a little after 9 p.m. From then on, the floor and the stage strictly belonged to Prince.
Unlike his appearance at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, Club Nokia and the Conga Room in 2009, in which he performed three shows in one night, Prince let loose like he had no time constraint, therefore giving his adoring fans a chance to see him at his musically and artistic best.
Prince held his own jam session with the audience, playing favorites such as Little Red Corvette, Let’s Work, Rasberry Beret, Take Me With You and sending the crowd into delirium performing megahits, 1999, Purple Rain and Let’s Go Crazy. Adding flair to the show the way only he can, Prince dropped in a couple of songs he wrote, belting out the sensually seductive Shhh, song by Tevin Campbell and re-inventing the Time’s Cool.
Prince doesn’t just provide high-octane entertainment for pleasure-seeking souls; he messages the crowd with shades of erotica and sensuality, while at the same infusing enough PG material to ease any discomfort. Prince invites you into his living room-which is the stage-and looks at every opportunity to please his visitors.
When you come to see Prince, you can expect to see the sexy gyrations that have made many women swoon. You’re going to hear and see explosive guitar riffs, which has made him a music icon. You are going to see a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame artist put on a show that is second to none. Prince wouldn’t want you to leave his concert thinking any other way.
Dennis is the editor and publisher of News4usonline. A news and sports reporter, Dennis has written about social justice, civil rights, education, politics, and crime. He also covers the NFL, NBA, MLB as well as other sports. Based in Southern California, Dennis earned a journalism degree with a minor in criminal justice from Howard University. The real HU!!