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Prince, Hollywood Palladium, March 8th, 2014

Prince

Prince announced a last-minute concert at the Hollywood Palladium via Twitter and Facebook last Saturday as a piggyback to Liv Warfield’s concert on Friday.  L.A. Taco’s DJPK attended.......

BIG – Prince’s band had 19 members including his new backing band 3RDEYEGIRL (Hannah Ford, drums, Ida Nielsen, bass and Donna Grantis, guitar), an 11-piece brass section and three backing singers (Shelby J., Liv Warfield and Elisa Dease).

LONG – they performed for 3 hours and 40 minutes with 5 encores and 55 songs in total, coming on at 10:20pm and finishing at 2am.

HITS – “1999”, “Let's Go Crazy”, “Raspberry Beret”, “Nothing Compares 2 U”, “Purple Rain” etc.

COVERS – Michael Jackson’s “Don't Stop Till You Get Enough” (with guest vocalist Janelle Monáe), The Impressions “We're a Winner”, Aretha Franklin’s “I Never Loved a Man The Way I Love You”, James Brown’s “I Don't Want Nobody to Give Me Nothing” etc.

NOT A SELLOUT – maybe a thousand (enthusiastic) fans in a venue that can comfortably handle 4,000.

The man is a genius, OK a flawed genius, but a genius – writer, producer, singer, dancer, multi-instrumentalist, and on Saturday’s performance, a bandleader –Duke Ellington with funk grooves. Also, based on Saturday’s performance, not caring about being in the spotlight - he asked the lighting crew to turn off the lights at least five times - and he let his backing singers (and guest vocalists) take the lead on many of the songs.  Even the iconic guitar solo in "Purple Rain" was performed by a saxophonist.  The band played lots of funky, repetitive, syncopated instrumental jams and Prince remained charismatic and stylish throughout.

The flaws?  The relentless virtuosos in the longer jams were a bit self-indulgent and his anti-technology obsession included having hefty security guards ejecting anyone who took pictures or videos with their phones.  But overall, the downsides were idiosyncratic and the upsides awe-inspiring – he gave the crowd an all-encompassing performance that rendered a complete portrait of one of the most singular, distinctive figures in popular music. For better and worse, there's no one else like him.

Playlist (with assistance from setlist.fm)

Main Set:
Big City (Unreleased)
Superconductor (from Andy Allo's album Superconductor, 2012)
1999 (from the album 1999, 1982)
Musicology (from the album Musicology, 2004)
Extralovable (single, 2011)
Let's Work (from Controversy, 1981)
Love Machine (from Graffiti Bridge, 1990)
U Got the Look (from Sign O' the Times, 1987)
Nothing Compares 2 You (The Family's The Family, 1985 / The Hits 1, 1993)
Take Me With U (from Purple Rain, 1984)
Raspberry Beret (from Around the World in a Day, 1985)
Cool (from The Time's The Time, 1981)
The Sweeter She Is (unreleased)
Purple Rain (from Purple Rain, 1984)

Encore 1:
Mutiny (from The Family's The Family, 1985)
Old Friends 4 Sale (from The Vault...Old Friends 4 Sale, 1999)
People Pleaser (single, 2012)
Ain't Gonna Miss You When U're Gone (released on 3rdEyeGirl.com, 2013)
F.U.N.K. (single, 2007)
Dark (from Come, 1994)
Something in the Water (Does Not Compute) (from the album 1999, 1982)

Encore 2:
We're a Winner (Impressions cover)
I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You) (Aretha Franklin cover)
Satisfied (from 3121, 2006)
I Don't Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing (Open the Door, I'll Get It Myself) (James Brown cover)
Instrumental
Housequake (from Sign O' the Times, 1987)
The Jam (Graham Central Station cover)
The Bird (from The Time's Ice Cream Castle, 1984)
Jungle Love (from The Time's Ice Cream Castle, 1984)
The Glamorous Life (from Sheila E's The Glamorous Life, 1984)

Encore 3:
Lost & Found (from Lianne La Havas' Lost & Found, 2011)
Hot Thing (shortened version) (from Sign O' the Times, 1987)
If I Was Your Girlfriend (shortened version) (from Sign O' the Times, 1987)
Forever In My Life (from Sign O' the Times, 1987)
When Doves Cry (shortened version) (from Purple Rain, 1984)
Nasty City (from Vanity 6's Vanity 6, 1982) / 777-9311 (from The Time's What Time Is It?, 1982)
Instrumental
Sign O' the Times (shortened version) (from Sign O' the Times, 1987)
I Would Die 4 You (shortened version) (from Purple Rain, 1984)
Pop Life (shortened version) (from Around the World in a Day, 1985)
Alphabet St. (shortened version) (from Lovesexy, 1988)
The Most Beautiful Girl in the World (sample) (single, 1984 / from The Gold Experience, 1995)
A Love Bizarre (from Sheila E.'s Romance 1600, 1985)
Days of Wild (from Crystal Ball, 1998)

Encore 4:
How Come You Don't Call Me Anymore (b-side of single 1999, 1982)
The Beautiful Ones (from Purple Rain, 1984)
Diamonds and Pearls (from Diamonds and Pearls, 1991)
Sometimes It Snows in April (from Parade, 1986)
Act of God (from 20TEN, 2010)
What Have You Done For Me Lately (Janet Jackson cover)
Northside (NPG Music Club download, 2001)
(Theme Song From) Which Way is Up? (Stargard cover)
Partyman (from Batman, 1989)

Encore 5:
Let's Go Crazy (from Purple Rain, 1984)
Funk’n’roll (unreleased)

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