by Mike Mehalick
Marking the end of the his wildly successful “Welcome to America” run of shows, the artist currently known as Prince melted hearts and faces during a raucous two and a half hourshow at Madison Square Garden; just the usual Monday night for a living legend.
A sold out crowd welcomed the Minnesotan with a New York cheer usually reserved for the Jeters and Stoudemires of the world. With a set heavy on the hits Prince, accompanied by his backing band and three ever present diva back up singers, danced, writhed, and touched himself all over his signature symbol stage truly reaching everyone from the front row to the back.
Dressed in a glittering golden body suit the purple Elvis opened with new track “Laydown” and got everyone out of their seats with the opening pangs of “1999”. Transitioning with relative ease and a masterfully rehearsed band Prince was able to stop and start songs on a dime packing in everything from “Delirious” to “Alphabet Street” to the rarely played “When Doves Cry”.
Seeing such a legend inside the world’s most famous arena was not lost on anybody present, including Prince himself. Whether it be the professionalism of a true show man or genuine emotion it was easy to see that the Artist was having just as good a time as the crowd. Why else would anybody of his stature feel the need to play four encores?
Collaborative highlights include The Roots’ Questlove guesting on percussion as well as opener Cee-Lo Green crooning his Gnarls Barkley hit “Crazy” over Prince’s wailing guitar.
With a boundless supply of energy Prince made the most out of his unique stage set up grabbing people from the audience to dance with him, including a now famous incident with Kim Kardashian. At one point during the third encore the entire VIP section took over the stage as Prince stood on his piano on the other side. Everyone, superstar celebrities included, all in awe of a true working genius. It’s hard to sum up a Prince performance in one sentence so I’ll allow the Artist himself to try. Just when you thought Prince was going to slow down he moves into “If I Was Your Girlfriend” by saying, “Oh no! We can’t do that song! If we do that song, somebody gonna get pregnant!”
- Little Red Corvette
- The Beautiful Ones
- Purple Rain
- Raspberry Beret
- Cool (The Time)
- Let’s Work
- U got The Look
- Nothing Compares To You
- Crazy (Gnarles Barkley) with Cee-Lo Green
- Let’s Go Crazy
- When Doves Cry (Intro)
- Sign “O” The Times/Alphabet Street
- A Love Bizarre (Sheila E.)
- Pop Life/I would die For You/If I Was Your Girlfriend
- Shake your Body (The Jacksons)
- Everyday People (Sly & The Family Stone)
- I Want To Take You Higher (Sly & The Family Stone)