Apr 29, 2016

Prince (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016)

Prince's last show at Metropolis was my concert of that year and possibly the best concert of my life.

It was also the most expensive concert of my life as well. However, after that Prince experience, money didn’t matter at all that night. That show was worth every penny.

I was ill-prepared when Prince made his last trip to Montreal nearly a decade or so ago. 

It seemed he would breeze in and out of this city without my having seen or heard him. I remembered the show predictably selling out quickly, my inability to have obtained tickets for the show and being intimidated by the Prince ticket price tag. This year, all the stars were in alignment for me to see the superstar live in my city.

The Prince show at Metropolis lasted 4 hours that night. He made multiple returns to the stage due to the crowd’s multiple cries for encore performances.

Another element to the night was Prince being joined by legend Maceo Parker for a number of songs. Although Prince is not outright a jazz artist, I believe Maceo Parker’s saxophone was more than sufficient to compensate for whatever Prince lacked as far as performing in during this year’s Festival International de Jazz de Montréal.

When Maceo Parker performed Pass The Peas, my mind went directly to James Brown. James Brown produced Parker’s Pass The Peas. Brown was instrumental (no better word) in the foundation of hip hop. He influenced Prince as well as Michael Jackson, who too is no longer with us. Seeing and hearing Maceo perform the classic track made my eyes watery. Prince was onstage with his mentor’s main man and I was watching two of my own mentors in front of me.

Speaking of Jackson, Prince squeezed in a mini-Michael tribute. Although Prince did not sing the Michael songs personally, it was well-received by the groove-hungry crowd.

Prince was scheduled to return to Montreal’s Bell Centre not too long after the Metropolis show. I made a conscious and slightly painless decision to not see him again. 4 hours of my life and year were spent with Prince. Heaven knows one minute of Prince, even up in the bleachers, is worth the time and money but I’ve had my fill for a while. I had the luxury of watching him in the rather intimate setting of Metropolis where I consciously suppressed the urge to walk up to the front of the stage. The gladiatorial arena which is Bell Centre won’t allow me that luxury.

Purple Rain celebrated its 30th anniversary recently.  If you're lucky to find the 20th anniversary DVD, you get a bonus disc of classic material from videos to MTV coverage of the film's grand opening.  

To anyone that knows and loves Prince’s music and has not yet seen the movie Purple Rain, must I tell you to gett off your money maker to see it?

History repeated itself when I learned at the last minute he was performing in Montreal days before his death.

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