Wednesday, December 22, 2010

“Ain’t Nothin’ Like Funky Music” - Prince at Madison Square Garden

I had one of the best nights of my life Saturday, December 18 in New York. Prince’s concert at Madison Square Garden was a non-stop party featuring countless hits, dancing, chanting, otherworldly musicianship and surprises. My favorite moments included Prince’s crazy solo on the lesser-known slow-jam “Shhh” and Sheila E.’s entrance on to the stage, which was in the shape of Prince’s famous symbol, during “U Got the Look.” I could barely contain myself when Prince invited numerous celebrities—from Alicia Keys and Jamie Foxx to Whoopi Goldberg and Spike Lee—to join him on stage during “A Love Bizarre.”

I won’t go into much more detail about the concert itself; reviews can be found all over the Internet (I will also post at least one of my own a little later on a different site).

Unfortunately, I didn’t receive a miracle, last-minute phone call granting clearance to sit in the press section or interview the performers. I did wait around Manhattan for the scoop on any after shows or after parties. Sadly, Prince did not perform after the concert. Instead, he had a celebrity-only gathering at the Village Underground.

My experience in New York really inspired me to keep going with my book. When I mentioned to a friend of a friend that I was going to see Prince, she responded, “I heard he’s all into being a Jehovah’s Witness now.” I get the impression that many people think Prince is a religious fanatic whose concerts are odd and preachy. I find myself wanting to scream, “He’s still funky!”

While you won’t find him doing “Darling Nikki,” “Head” or “Sexy M.F.,” he still plays a lot of his hits, and puts on a fun, energetic show. The concert at Madison Square Garden certainly proved this fact. There wasn’t any swearing and the artist did not make overtly sexual references, but there were no sermons either. I saw a mature, positive performer with a conscience, who was still accessible and entertaining. I like the fact that Prince has concerts that children and adults can enjoy without losing his swagger.

The other extreme response to Prince’s spirituality is disbelief. I find that many people won’t accept that Prince has changed from the explicit performer that he was in the past. My book traces Prince’s spiritual development over the years. I really believe that there is a need for this work.

Thanks for following me on my journey. There is more to come!


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