prince in las vegas

May 16, 2013

Purple Partying with Prince- Prince and 3

As an 80’s baby whose parents took her to see Prince play Madison Square Garden on the Purple Rain Tour, suffice to say my love affair with the brilliant, enigmatic musical genius began eons ago. Point blank, he’s utterly fascinating. As D’Angelo’s said when asked about Prince, his mix of “sexual with the spiritual” along with the combo of masculine with the feminine remains in a class by itself. As a West Coast fan, I’ve luckily felt the concert love recently as Prince decided to do his “21 Nite Stand” in Los Angeles, to which I attended five shows, seeing acts who can headline on their own like Amel Larrieux, Esperanza Spalding and Mary J. Blige open. With 2-3 encores a show, you were lucky to get out of the parking lot by 1 AM.

Blessed again with another West Coast Live tour in my grasp, I checked out Prince and his new band, 3rd .Eye.Girl at his 11:30 Hard Rock show on Saturday in Vegas. All of those elements must naturally lend themselves for a hype party, right? Arriving to the venue around 11:15, I fought the line of snaking cars in the parking lot from the earlier show and was greeted with several looooonng lines to get in. The audience, full of varying generations, ethnicities and even veiled costumes, went nuts when the lights dimmed and the guitar riffs filled the back of the Joint. Prince began his 90 min set with the sultry, blues-tinged version of “Let’s Go Crazy” which we previewed on the Afro-Punk site a few weeks ago, definitely a welcome surprise.

Over the years, it’s no secret Prince always surrounds himself with dope musicians supporting him and Eye.Girl proved no different. Fierce shredding guitarist Donna Grantis, Hannah Ford on drums and Ida Nielson on bass rocked cohesively. Performing new songs like “Screwdriver” and “Plectrum Electrum” and classics like “Alphabet St.”, “Sign ‘O’ The Times”, “She’s Always in My Hair” , slowing things down with “Purple Rain” and “Sometimes It Snows in April” on piano. His guitar and piano prowess, glittering like the gold chunky chain he wore around his neck. Trademark inviting audience members to dance onstage, he guided us through a “Purple party” medley including Vanity 6’s “Nasty Girl”, Sheila E’s “ A Love Bizarre” , “Housequake” and “ I Would Die 4 U”. Special shout-out to the 6’5 balding investment banker type who stood right in front of me until I “accidentally” threw bows while dancing. When Prince said at one point during the show, “You know my number, it’s S-E-X”, I smiled and now when I fondly recall my concert memories, I say “La, La, La, Hee, Hee, Hee”. Eye.Girl at the Joint- Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas