It’s been an amazing week here at the EclipseMagazine.com sweetshop; it started off with me hanging with the folks from the Sci-Fi Channel and the crews from Battlestar Galactica, Flash Gordon, Eureka, and SG1 Atlantis, when I got back I checked out a late screening of The Transformers, then Friday I sat down with the great Danny Boyle (28 Days Later, Millions, and more), and finished the evening by partying with Prince until the Wii, Wii hours of the morning. Your girl is tired, but I’m going to bring you this report.
When I first heard that Prince was going to be doing a short stint at LA’s famed Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, I was excited, I mean, I’ve been a fan for over 20 years and have seen him perform about 15 times, but not in the last decade. The man has been making it real hard to remain a fan, with the chaotic way he’s been handling his business in the last 10 years it’s been almost impossible to get tickets to the few shows that he’s done and he makes you jump through so many hoops to attend.
This time was no exception, finding information on how to purchase tickets became a hunt in and of itself, then once we found the right place the price tag of the tickets almost gave me a heart attack. Rumor has it Prince wanted the ticket price to be $77, but the hotel charged $3,121.23 (3121, get it?) for a VIP seat that included dinner but no drinks or parking. They had a limited number of standing room only passes for $312.21. Not only was the price tag out of line, but then to get your tickets you had to send a request with your credit card information to a blind email address.
As a lark, I figured why not, so I emailed the Roosevelt and was shocked, when I got the word that yes, I got into the Thursday night show. While I was in Canada, I was regretting my decision I just wasn’t feeling up to standing around all night. This is where I mention the show wasn’t scheduled to start until midnight, but we were supposed to be at the hotel by 9pm.
The hotel called at around 5pm Thursday to say that the show was cancelled and asked if I wanted a refund or to attend Friday night and I was like, yeah!
So here it is Friday night, I’m at The Roosevelt and the lobby area is completely decked out with the Prince vibe. 3121 and Symbol Banners all over the lobby, purple lights dancing off the ceilings, nice chairs and couches to sit on until the show started. After about an hour I was bored, so I started to put my mingle shoes on and met some interesting industry people. I got the sense that the entire crowd was nothing but Hollywood Insiders.
There were a lot of celebrities in the crowd, most of whom I didn’t recognize, but I did catch Chris Rock hanging out, Alanis Morissette and I think I spotted Paris Hilton (although I’m not sure on this one).
By about 11:00 the crowd of about 200 peeps started to get restless and tired when they finally let us in at midnight. Once inside all was right with the world again. The band came out at around 12:20 AM, walking through the crowd playing "When The Saints Go Marching In." This kicked off a 12 minute jam when finally at 12:30 AM the short wonder came out of nowhere from the back of the crowd and sauntered down the Aisle wearing a bad ass white outfit.
Everyone went nuts and at that moment when you are literally just a few feet away from this Icon you realize that all that money and the hassles you went through was worth it, to be in this intimate a setting.
He walked on stage to wild applause and then sat in the audience for a few minutes to watch his ban finish up their Saints jam. He got back on stage started the almost 2 hour set off with the slow jam Satisfaction. It seemed an odd choice to start off with a power ballad, but Prince did it as only he can. By giving us a full 20 minutes of this song, there were points in it where I was going, "Ok, I get the point, move on, but other points where you can’t help but swoon." And I don’t swoon! He takes his time with the song and builds it by showing his playful side when he starts riffing on his "Cockeyed woman who can see left and right at once, but always have an eye on him," and had the crowd in hysterics when he talked his "Three handed woman who had a left hand, right hand, and under hand," simply brilliant stuff.
After that he launched a funky jam of 3121 which got the audience back up on their feet (not that we were able to sit down), which was followed up by Cream, You Got The Look, Hollyrock, Musicology, a cover of Janet Jackson’s "What Have You Done for Me Lately," the beats just kept coming. He joked that he had "Many Hits," and could keep this up all night, I absolutely went crazy when he ended this set with "Party Man."
The band then took a short break while he and his new protégé Shelby J belted out an extended Slow Jam and then did an amazing cover of Chaka Kahn’s classic ballad Sweet Thing. Crowd again went crazy. After this interlude he focused on new material from 3121 with a blistering guitar solo on Lolita, another song from 3121, and then Black Sweat and concluded with his brand new single Guitar.
He blew the roof off with If I was Your Girlfriend and brought everyone to rapture by closing with Purple Rain. We were standing there for about 15 minutes screaming encore, but there was none coming. But that didn’t mean the evening was going to be over.
We all went into the lobby at about 2:10 and waited another hour for the After Show to start. It was funny because Chris Rock again was there just hanging out, didn’t have any body guards or even friends with him, just hanging very approachable. So after about 20 minutes of staring at him, I just said what the f, and went up to him and introduced myself. I mean I have talked to him a couple of times in the past, not that he would remember me. But he was really cool and I chatted with him for a few minutes before I quickly ran out of things to say.
At 3:00 AM Prince quietly walked into the room, unnoticed by most, wearing a Pink outfit and went over to the mixing board, again, he was right next to me, but I was too star struck to say anything. Shelby J. and Sheila E also came and sat on the couch right behind the mixing board to watch him set his mix. I sat down next to Shelby, at first I didn’t recognize her and had a short conversation she was really cool and down to earth. Told her I loved her performance.
Prince then took the little stage, didn’t say a word and let his guitar do the talking for him doing a 30
minute jam, which concluded with a smoking hot cover of Dr. Feel Good. He then left the stage without saying a word while his band continued to play. We were all waiting for him to come back. The band played bad, boring, Jazz for another 45 minutes and the audience was getting bored stiff waiting for him to come back. When the leader said good night and happy "iPhone Day," a lot of us in the audience looked at each other and were like what the hell?
I’ve always dreamed of attending one of Prince’s infamous After Hour shows and was mighty disappointed in this one, lame doesn’t even describe it. But it was just really cool to have him stand right beside me, and being able to talk to Chris Rock, Shelby J and Sheila E, the bad "half assed" after show concert aside, it was a memorable experience.
If you ever get a chance to catch Prince in this type of setting and you call yourself a Fam, you should definitely suck it up and pay the ticket price because it was worth it. My love of Prince has been restored with tonight’s show. While the 3121 show gets a B, and the After Hours show gets a D, the overall 3121 experience gets a B+ (if it was an earlier show and I had a seat, would have gotten an easy A).
You can check out a live sample of Satisfied at the Official Prince website – http://www.3121.com.
Track Listing (Not Complete, I may have missed 1 or 2)
1) When The Saints Go Marching In
5) You Got The Look
6) Holly Rock
8) Janet Jackson Cover – What Have You Done For Me Lately
9) Party Man
10) Unnamed Slow Jam
11) Chaka Khan Cover – Sweet Thing (Performed by Shelby J)
12) Take Me With You
15) Black Sweat
17) If I Was Your Girlfriend
18) Purple Rain
Show started at 12:20 AM, ended at about 2 AM, the After Party started at 3 AM and ended at 4 AM.
By Michelle Alexandria
Originally Posted 06/30/07