… And I had a front row seat to see him at the ACC last night. Only problem was that it was directly in front of the security guard in this grainy photo. I asked him if I could take a couple of crappy camera pictures during the show… Nope. A photo of the empty stage afterwards… Nein. This was all I could manage as I made my way towards the exit.
Like my Breakfast Club brethren I grew up listening to 1999 and Purple Rain; unlike most I’m not upset by rumours that Prince is performing material from this era for the last time on his current tour. His drummer John Blackwell apparently agrees with me — for the climax of his curtain call solo he simply yelled “we hate new wave!” into one of his drum mics.
This isn’t to imply, however, that the band didn’t give every single number a hundred and ten percent — they did, and did it with class. Maceo Parker on tenor sax even saved an authentic tambourine for a little girl sitting two seats over from me.
As for Prince, he had a brilliant strategy for getting some unexpected energy out of his reserved Toronto audience. At one point he simply stopped everything and got all pouty, retreating to an onstage sofa and casually flipping through a magazine, pretending to ignore his adoring fans. Within thirty seconds the crowd was absolutely berserk, and the level of excitement in the room was bigger and louder than at a game-tying goal I had seen here during the NHL playoffs two years ago.
I can’t think of anyone else who could pull that off…