May 8, 2011

A royal wedding: My night with Prince.

On Friday night, I unexpectedly received one of life's most esteemed gifts. In possibly the most momentous snap decision of my life, I stumbled over to the holy Inglewood Forum and into the good graces of rock 'n' roll royalty. I found my Prince, and boy am I glad I coughed up those 25 bucks.

Armed with a very standard amount of Prince knowledge, I decided to attend the concert based on the idea that Prince will do everything you'd expect him to do. And if that fell through, I was at least certain I could find something entertaining about his crowd.

I turned out to be right about the Prince fans (Princettes?) in the stands, not that it mattered. Because that little black fellow with the fluffy boots, far-too-frilly collars, and killer screeching abilities really can make ya move. Everything about Prince that night was spectacular: his voice remains ridiculously good, his dance moves are still as nimble and homoerotic as ever, even his Brandon Routh-style haircut looked better than Brandon Routh's. And Prince is 52 years old! Suck on that, Superboy.

Those of you who were once like me may be wondering, "What’s so great about Prince in concert?" My response: "Where do I start?" The man carries a live show like only a handful of artists are capable of. His stage is shaped like a penis, but also like his infamous symbol, a declaration to his tenure as The Artist Formerly Known As. He rises from underneath the stage before every song and descends back under at its end.

He also invites flocks of fans up on stage for his last number and concludes the show by throwing his guitar to one lucky serf in the standing room section. He is fully aware that everything he is doing is epic, and he fuckin' loves every minute of it. The feeling is mutual, my liege.

And then there was the music. I honestly can’t remember the last time I head-bopped and thigh-slapped so hard that I woke up sore and stiff. After nearly a three-hour performance, it seemed as though Prince was going to keep us groovin' into eternity. He played everything from Michael Jackson to Prince to Kool & The Gang. At one point Prince even loudly declared, "Do you know how many hits I have?!" I don't think we've invented that number yet.

It was sometime during the fourth encore when I realized that you can’t put a price tag on live Prince. In fact, I almost feel as though I robbed him a little bit that night. To quantify the joy that Prince delivered would leave me indebted to Prince well into this string of twenty-one consecutive Prince shows in Los Angeles. So be it. I thank you, kind Prince, for your generosity.

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