Thursday, September 28, 2017

"Thunder When I'm on the Mike" - Diamonds and Pearls Tour

While watching footage of one of Prince's tours, I always ask myself two questions to determine where he is spiritually: What necklace is he wearing? And how has he changed the lyrics to "Purple Rain?" Of course there are many other factors to consider, but those two questions have proven relevant time and time again.

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Prince performs onstage on his Diamonds & Pearls tour, Ahoy, Rotterdam, Netherlands, 27th May 1992.

The Diamonds and Pearls tour fits right in here. I am currently studying that era, and I finally found a video online: the June 24, 1992 show in London. My analysis of the spiritual symbolism in that concert (which opens with "Take My Hand, Precious Lord") will be in the book. But I thought I'd share some of my general reactions.

I thoroughly enjoyed this high-energy show. As always, Prince demonstrates he is a dynamic singer, dancer and musician. I must say I was expecting dancers "Diamond" and "Pearl" to be more prominent; the TDK (Tony M., Damon Dickson and Kirk Johnson) dance troupe appears to get more stage time. And Prince's future wife, Mayte Garcia, is featured and, honestly, kept my attention more than Diamond and Pearl. 

I was also suprised "Damn U" and "Sexy MF," two singles from Prince's subsequent Love Symbol album, are included in the concert, but it makes sense given the project would be released a few months after the tour wrapped. And "Sexy MF" was released during the tour. Still, it's always fascinating to see how quickly Prince wrote and recorded new material. 

My favorite songs on the Diamonds and Pearls album are "Thunder" and "Live 4 Love," and the live performances of those tracks do not disappoint. I also love Prince's acoustic guitar playing on "Thieves in the Temple." You could definitely see that his interest in Middle Eastern music was growing; for example, Garcia wrote in her book:

"Prince was working hard to prepare the Diamonds and Pearls show, trying not to be distracted by the Arabic vibe and Egyptian imagery that seemed to be speaking to him. 'My heart's already there,' he told me, 'but my head has to do this thing right now.'" 

Prince is committed throughout the Diamonds and Pearls concert, and his focus is matched by his band, the NPG, which sounds fantastic. Rosie Gaines is especially impressive; I love Prince's reaction to her vocals.

Among Prince's tours up to 1992, I'd rank Diamonds and Pearls behind Sign 'O' the Times, Lovesexy and Purple Rain, but above the others--purely in terms of my personal enjoyment.


What do you think of the Diamonds and Pearls tour? 

6 comments:

  1. I didn't see it in person, but I too have watched the video, and I have watched many videos of other tours. This one is in my top two! I love the NPG band, the variety of styles of songs they were playing and singing, Mayte and her influence on him, and how he placed her right in front of him when he featured her. They were beautiful in their matching yellow outfits. Speaking of outfits I like that his outfits had become much more modest, yet still so Prince-like. That design is one of my favorites on him. From what I could see, he had several in different colors!It's hard to know, because of their recording dates, whether his Arabic-inspired songs, Thieves in the Temple and Thunder came first and Mayte came along and fit right in, or if the songs came after his exposure to her bellydancing.

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    1. Thank you for your comment! Well, we know "Thieves in the Temple" came before Mayte. I think she caught him at the right time and helped augment the interest he already had.

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  2. One of the things I always loved about Prince's career was how one era would bleed into the next. Usually, when he was touring behind an album, he was already focused on the next album and that usually came out during the live shows. 'ATWIAD's psychedelia during the Purple Rain tour, the Symbol album during the D&P tour, etc. It's a really interesting way to see his evolution.

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  3. People should realise that religion is a personal matter and that one is independent and free to choose whatever religion he or she wants or even if he or she doesn't follow any or follow all, it's their will.

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    1. Can't argue with that. Thank you for reading.

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