Apr 22

*** STOP THE PRESS *** With today’s tragic news of the untimely passing of Prince, I thought I better publish this post I’ve been meaning to do for 2 months. BIG SAD FACE for music lovers around the world today 🙁

When the Piano & Microphone Tour was suddenly announced I was so excited. As one of my “all time favourite” artists, seeing Prince perform was something I really looked forward to. Sure, I saw him not that long ago in 2012 but anyhoo, this was different. This was Prince performing without a band, backing singers, dancers or Prince style razzle dazzle – something minimal and special.
The downside was that I had already spent a fortune on Madonna Rebel Heart Tour tickets for March already. WHY did my two all time favourites have to tour Australia within two months of each other?!@%
I ended up going by myself because no-one I knew was dedicated enough to spend the (some say exorbitant) $389.90. There were cheaper tickets but they sold out so quickly. Most of my friends ended up with Sydney Opera House tickets (which would have been nice to go to as well).
So Dave stayed home and looked after baby JAG while mummy “went to work” on Sunday evening.
The crowd was, as expected older (and richer) than your average concert crowd. I met some nice people while waiting for the show to start, even a lady who saw The Beatles (when she was a kid) with her parents. I ended up sitting next to another “insane” fan Lauren, who went by herself and we had a great chat about concerts and music. Check out her blog – Sounds of Oz. We also chatted excitedly with the fans sitting around us. I assumed that everyone at these shows was a serious fan and not someone dragged along by their girlfriend because they had nothing better to do! There was a couple who had been to 3 Piano & Microphone shows already in Melbourne and Sydney! Some serious fandom was in the house.
Anyway, when he finally took to the stage it was just amazing hearing his voice and watching him play the piano. The audience was enraptured. I was just sitting there thinking how cool it was to see Prince being “minimal” and singing some of my favourite songs “unplugged”. There wasn’t as much banter as I would have liked, a few stories and anecdotes would have been nice. There were some special moments for fans, a lady who got to “daggy dance” on stage during Raspberry Beret and the kid who danced his little heart out to Kiss.
Some of the other tracks he played: Let’s Go Crazy, Why Don’t You Call Me, Controversy, Love Thy Will be Done, Black Muse. Cream, Money Don’t Matter 2Nite. Encores: Little Red Corvette, Nothing Compare 2U, Black Sweat, Kiss and Purple Rain.
The security were very strict on photos/video/phones/cameras at the show so I don’t have any pics of the actual performance. I wasn’t going to risk being kicked out and it was kind of good to be forced to just watch the show.
It was all over before we knew it, shame it wasn’t a little bit longer than the 90 minutes, because he started late and there was another show afterwards. I collected my “free” Hit & Run Phase II CD and made my way home on the bus bathed in the glory of Prince and his piano and microphone.

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May 24

Prince - Welcome2Australia Tour - All Phones Arena 11/05/12

Prince - Welcome2Australia Tour - All Phones Arena 11/05/12

Prince - Welcome2Australia Tour - All Phones Arena 11/05/12

Prince - Welcome2Australia Tour - All Phones Arena 11/05/12

Prince - Welcome2Australia Tour - All Phones Arena 11/05/12

Prince - Welcome2Australia Tour - All Phones Arena 11/05/12

I love, love, love Prince. I’ve loved his music since the 1980s. I remember my school pal, Jo used to love him the most, her older brother had all the pre-Purple Rain era albums in their house. For innocent, young year seven students, he was a confusing, unusual and strange pop star. He wasn’t “cute” like Simon Le Bon or George Michael. I didn’t understand most of his saucy lyrics at 12 years old, but the music was damn funky! In 1992 I attended the Diamonds and Pearls tour, even going twice to the Entertainment Centre to see him. Prince finally toured Australia again in 2003. For some dumb reason we didn’t go, opting to save money for our home loan deposit, and having just recently bought tickets to see Craig David (doh! where is he now?). So when the Welcome2Australia tour was announced, I was totally hyped and excited to see Prince again.

I couldn’t handle the stress of trying to buy the tickets when they went on sale to the public, so somehow convinced Dave to go for a “pre-sale” package called the TOTAL Concert Experience. This is what you get for your money:

Get out of the Queue and enjoy the Prince TOTAL Concert Experience!
Hosted by Richard Wilkins – Australia’s pre-eminent entertainment reporter (He was really working the room, even got a pic with him, ha ha)
Gold Reserved Seated Ticket
2 hour pre show hospitality Function
Substantial Canapés (yes, they were substantial) & Premium Beverage selection served at pre Show
Resident Disc Jockey for Entertainment
Power Dance Performers (Didn’t see any dancers, not sure if they were replaced by the vocalist and percussionist who were on stage when we arrived)
Souvenir lanyard for each guest
Fully Themed Function Room (it was purple!)
1 Hour Post Show Party with Cash Bar and complimentary dessert item
1 guest will win a Lucky Door Prize (Another TOTAL Concert Experience to George Michael or Lady Gaga) #

This was for the first show of the Australian tour, so I was really hyped. Dave, Confused Machines & Boztek joined me for the fun at the TOTAL (yes CAPITALS) Concert Experience! The show was great (though after seeing reviews of the shows after this one, it could have been even better). I was so happy to see one of my all-time favourite artists live in concert. After all the bad stuff that has happened to me this year, it was really nice to be able to enjoy myself and be happy. I was clapping, singing, (daggy?) dancing throughout the night. My favourite tracks were:
Little Red Corvette
Take Me With U
Raspberry Beret
Cream
Don’t Stop ‘Till You Get Enough/Cool (members of the audience from the really expensive “Purple VIP” seats got to go on stage and dance with Prince – how awesome would that have been. They really got their money’s worth!)
Encore:
Sometimes It Snows in April (with beautiful white confetti falling from the sky)
Mountains/Dance Electric
When Doves Cry
Hot Thing
Nasty Girl (Vanity 6)
I Would Die 4 U
Kiss
Encore 2:
Purple Rain
Controversy

The set lists for the whole Australian tour are here. The great thing about Prince is that he has so many songs, each night is going to be quite different. I think there were quite a few songs that he sang the next night that I wished he’d played on Friday. I would have loved to have gone again, but I’m thankful that I could afford to see the legend Prince in my hometown Sydney again after 20 years!

Here is the review in SMH

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