Shamik Das

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Prince on song to bring down the curtain in style

GOODBYE LONDON: Prince departs centre stage with the applause of the crowd ringing in his ears.

OVER 20,000 revellers partied like it was 1999 on the site of the Millennium Dome last night as Prince played London for the final time.

The purple clad genius rolled out a string of hits on his last night at the 02 Arena in Greenwich, the 21st gig of a 21 night sell-out tour at the location which welcomed in the 21st century seven long years ago.

Mixing old-school classics like When Doves Cry and Kiss with a splattering of new tunes from his latest album Planet Earth, Minnesota's most famous son delivered a spellbinding performance in front of a capacity crowd.

Indeed, such is the repertoire of the man that 90's chart-toppers Diamonds and Pearls and The Most Beautiful Girl in the World merited only a couple of bars apiece, melded together in one of a series of medleys.

This was real music performed by real artists, using real instruments; trombones, guitars, pianos, drums, … not some bint lip-synching to a bubblegum pop cd digitally enhanced by computer.

"My name is Prince and I am funky, my name is Prince the one and only!"

The beats kept on coming, Purple Rain, Nothing Compares to U, My Name Is Prince and 1999 meriting extended run-outs as the show, the whole tour even, built up to a thrilling crescendo.

Purple glow-sticks, handed out to every concert goer upon arrival at the event, rained down on the stage as Minneapolis's finest teased the audience, disappearing from view several times as the show reached its conclusion.

With the fans - young and old, male and female, smart and casual, rich and poor, black and white - clamouring for more, the artist formerly known as The Artist Formerly Known As Prince finally reappeared, making no less than four encores.

Those watching may not have realised it, but we were witnessing one of the last of a dwindling breed. Entertainers who can sing, dance and play music - pure music - the way it used to be played, before the corrosive influence of Big Brother et al.

And such is the paucity of class among the current generation’s talentless talent show wannabes that it may be a long wait before we see such brilliance burst onto the scene again.


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