Every serious Prince fan has encountered numerous anecdotes about the amazing, intimate club shows Prince has given in the middle of the night at First Avenue or some nightclub in Paris. Last night, we got one in Seattle. (Actually, we got two—I saw the 11:30 pm show, and reports from the 8 pm show sound identical.)
The basic set-up: This was an intimate club performance by Thirdeyegirl, an all-female band with a male lead singer, who happened to be Prince. The basic question: Would Thirdeyegirl be a tool for Prince to communicate weird new free-jazz feelings, or would this be a Prince show with a hot new band?
This question was answered almost immediately after the lights went out, the band came on, and the stage exploded with amazing virtual pyrotechnics as Thirdeyegirl launched into "Let's Go Crazy," performed in a slowed-down, power-chord heavy version. It was electrifying and just the beginning.
This was definitely a Rock Show—Prince kept his guitar on all night, with things getting seriously funky only towards the end, when he brought out the Controversy classic "Let's Work" and—OHMYGOD—"A Love Bizarre." But holy shit what a rock show. The set list was both a fan's dream and from outer space, ranging from humongo-hits ("U Got the Look," "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man," "When Doves Cry") to beloved B-sides ("She's Always in My Hair"!) to weird catalog gems (The Gold Experience's "Endorphinmachine"! Chaos & Disorder's "I Like It There"!) The whole thing ended with a stageful of dancing band/audience members, and Prince DJ'ing a career-spanning medley of hits, over which he sang live and praised Seattle. We responded by losing our minds.
It all happens again tonight—twice!—at Showbox at the Market.