My Photo
Location: New York, New York, United States

just check out my site -- and/or follow my twitter feed:

Thursday, July 15, 2004

when i was about nine years old, i unsuccessfully tried to convince my pops to buy me my first concert tickets to see the purple rain tour when it rolled through the nyc area. over twenty summers later - last night, i finally got to witness glimpses of what i had missed as a child. however, this was not the first time i have seen the man perform. roughly close to thirty shows in the past eleven years have beaten my concert-going excursions into a sort of routine. a routine where i almost know what to expect from a man i consider the greatest living musician. gone are the early days of being surprised by an arrogant, experimental, risk-taker, who would rip into songs that people would be hearing for the first time. unreleased, yet-to-be released or b-side material. in recent years, this genius of a musician has turned into a greatest-hits jukebox. the casual fan is of course excited by hearing renditions of "raspberry beret" and "little red corvette." but to the "career fan" like me (thanks to leighsa for coining that title), i find it very difficult to get amped for these kind of shows anymore. prince himself is getting tired of it too, it seems. he is touting this tour as the last time we are going to hear a greatest hits show. maybe this time, it's for real (i do not believe this is the first time i have heard that promise). maybe we won't have the mass sing-a-longs. yes... this is something that needs to stop. permit me to go off on a slight tangent here: why does the audience feel the need to sing along to every damn track? yes i know you know the words to the songs, but i paid close to $100 to hear prince - not you. i am cool with the sing-a-long participation skits that he includes in his setlist - but that's where it should end. it becomes increasingly difficult to enjoy a concert when you have a good portion of the audience, most of whom are tone-deaf, singing at the top of their lungs. of course the speakers are loud enough to cancel most of them out, but it's impossible to ignore. so all those that think a prince concert is a secondary karaoke night, please refrain next time. it's annoying - and quite embarrassing. no offense to the people who are indeed vocally gifted, but i don't want to hear you either unless the musician gives you a cue. and, to all the half-naked ladies who try desperately to get on stage and get um... "noticed / discovered," - that has got to stop as well. have some self-respect for goodness sakes. alright... back to the original reason i started writing about my experience from last night. the greatest hits thing is fine, but its becoming a tired act, in my opinion. even with treats like morris day & the time opening the show, and sheila e. making a glorious cameo -- in effect taking us all back to 1984. but as much fun as that may be, and with the resurgance of all things 80's... reality must kick in at some point. it is 2004 now. prince has a pretty tight new album that is doing commercially well. and the sad part is, we only get to see three songs performed off of it -- and virtually none from the 90's - a decade where he put out many under-appreciated and strong works. yes, these greatest-hits shows are indeed wonderful for all those people that are seeing him live for the first time. yes, it does feel special because i missed the purple rain tour at age nine. but there is something magical about the experimental performances of days in-between that tour and what we get today, and i hope you all get to see that too if he decides to go that route the next time out. maybe one day we will see that crazy prince again rocking & stifling the crowd with ill, new material - material they can't sing along to.