A Prince Among Men
In a word, WOW! Prince!!!
The entire show was a spectacle without going over the top.
I had never seen Prince perform, but had heard that he’s one of the best performers today. When a friend asked if I was interested in heading to Mohegan Sun to see him, I didn’t hesitate to say yes.
The show opened with Janelle Monae. I was very interested to see her because of all the positive press she’s been receiving. She’s fabulous! Her voice is terrific and she knows how to work the crowd. Unfortunately, my view was obstructed by the staging during her set so I had to watch her on the jumbotron. Her act was staged in an asylum room; she was wheeled on stage wearing a straight-jacket from which she ‘escaped.’
She has a very tight band backing her. Everyone was dressed in black and white; the guitarist even painted his fingernails black and white! They played a 75-minute set and nobody in the audience seemed to mind the length.
As soon as Janelle left the stage, the rapper Doug E. Fresh took to a stage that was set up at the rear of the floor. I had no idea who he is, but it was interesting to see his short act. It was much better than watching the roadies set up the stage for Prince!
The crowd noise turned to a dull roar as soon as Prince took the stage. He owned the audience from the moment he opened his mouth.
There were a lot of people on stage – eleven horns, guitarist, bass player, drummer, keyboardist, three backup singers, a dancer, and Prince (and I could be forgetting one or two people). The horns section was featured as you’d expect from a band that plays a lot of funk music.
The songs they played ranged from ‘1999’ to ‘Purple Rain’ to ‘Musicology’, mixing up the set with both old and new songs. He picked up the guitar for a few songs, but mostly he sang. Numerous times during his set, he said the show would be ‘old school’. If he meant that the show would be about the music and not about the staging, he was absolutely right.
Toward the end of the main set, he invited some audience members on the stage to dance with him. He also brought out Janelle and Esperanza Spalding! I wish they had sung with him instead of only dancing.
The initial part of the set was short, but he came on stage for three encores! Earlier today, I read someone’s advice not to leave a Prince show before the lights come on. This show proved that even after the lights come on, you shouldn’t leave. About five minutes after the lights came on and most people left the arena, Prince and his base band (guitar, bass and drums) came back to the stage and rocked hard! The show ended up being slightly shorter than the previous two nights, but I don’t think anyone felt shortchanged.
This was an evening of firsts for me – first time at a casino outside Las Vegas, first time seeing Prince, first time seeing a rapper. It was a great night!
Posted on December 30, 2013, in concert reviews, music, Uncategorized and tagged 1999, concert review, Doug E. Fresh, Esperanza Spalding, Janelle Monáe, Mohegan Sun Arena, music, Prince, Purple Rain. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.