Yours truly just experienced one of those once-in-a-lifetime memorable affairs.
Attending a Prince gig.
No, not just any concert.
A mega event of numinous and prolific proportions – implosions and explosions of all manner of ‘sonic yum-sauce’ kinds. Apparently, it was sold out, but I managed to score front row tickets in the choir gallery at the Sydney Opera House, when they opened up the stage to 360 degrees. Even the Opera House lit up her sails in his honour.
Very few elicit such a strong primal and sexual response from an audience, the way Prince does. Basking in his luminous presence is like being anointed by an ephemeral androgynous being, bestowing a supranormal blessing from some cosmic galaxy faraway.
There’s just nothing like it on Earth. That, I can promise you.
The atmosphere of the first Sydney show was nothing short of electric, charged with sensual tension. True to his stature of being the consummate performer, the stage was lit with candelabras at all four corners and a piano in the centre. A slow and luscious orchestral number started up, reminiscent of an epic martial arts film sound score.
No sign of Prince – just yet.
He was building up the anticipation and excitement, no doubt and d.a.m.n, the fervour between my loins was also heating up in sync with the charged electricity in the concert hall. My heartbeat started racing and the lovely gentleman beside me swapped seats with his wife, so we could both ‘go crazy’ together. Gotta love that!
Then, a side door opened and in the shadows, a lone figure stood for a few seconds basked in a soft light in his own silhouette before strutting onto stage for two mesmerising hours. All I could see… ? All that hair. I wanted to jump in it.
Cue.. “She’s always in my hair”.
The first hour was an ensemble of unrequited, lovelorn songs. My heart leapt out of its ribcage and wanted to embrace his entire being, just a mere few metres away from me. When he got to that piano, my, oh my… A few notes sprung, a short sit down.. a lyric or two… and then a defiant pause, before ‘getting off’ the piano stool… only to have this repeated again… and again… and again…
A friggin’ strokin’ kinda tease if ever there was one. Holy schmoly!
Cue… “Don’t you know I’m holding on… as best as I can…”
Lovely medleys like If I Was Your Girlfriend and Waiting In Vain were just gorgeous and pulled at the heart-strings, as did covers of Unchain My Heart and the incomparable Nothing Compares To You. He played that piano like his most intimate lover and number 1 fan, and that sublime voice never fails to impress.
Every lithe moment was delivered with stunning precision and flirtatious grace, down to the seductive sideways glance and cheeky wink towards our section of the gallery.
I swear to you, he saw me once or twice… I swear. Yes, the mad lunatic at the front.
At one point, when he was singing “tell me what you’re gonna do..” from Diamonds and Pearls, yours truly yelled out, “marry me, Prince.” My friend sitting above me in one of the platform boxes said, “oh THAT was you!”
He would stop every now and then, to slink across the stage in fits and bursts, like a sly leopard or panther, in those trademark heels, mulberry purple outfit and magical mojo.
Cheeky moments where he would stop, look under his piano, walk around it – a coy game of hide and seek. Nothing too random. All done with a meticulous style and deep swagger that only Prince can deliver. His vocal range leapt from sensual octaves to roaring falsettos. But it’s his very presence and every nuance that captures you and captivates the bejesus out of you. How can so much pizzazz come out of one tiny power pocket rocket? It can and it just does.
My intoxicated pulse was dancing in devilish hues of rhythmic inebriation all on its own.
Make no mistake. This crowd was bar none. Probably the best audience to rival any other I’ve ever experienced. EVER.
They were true fans. Truly. He was treated with reverence and respect. Even all the stomping and rapturous applause was reciprocated with love and in his demure voice, Prince said, “you be nice to this building.” After returning to stage after one of many never-ending encores, he asked slyly, “aren’t there supposed to be other people coming in?”
The crowd’s response. They can wait.
The strict NO video, phone, camera or photography was observed for the most part.
Only a handful of flashes went off and they were strobe-lighted and shamed, for daring to disobey. That tells you how much respect his royalness garners, but it was to be forgiven when his final encore of Purple Rain showered upon us. The ladies next to me took a quick no-flash snap. I asked if they could send it to me. I now have that brazen moment of audacity in my possession. A gift. I won’t share it… out of respect and because it was a moment in time that I want to reserve with those there that night.
Probably one of the highlights of the night was when the audience broke out into chant of one of his newer songs ‘Free Urself’- which he encouraged us to sing and continue singing after he left the stage. Minutes later, he returned for more encores (5, to be precise), but was evidently so chuffed that his honest, heartfelt smile caught me off-guard. You could tell, he felt the love. So much so, he jumped onto the piano in lotus pose to salute his adoring audience. It was a beautiful feel-good moment. That single moment of an entire crowd’s participation was worth the admission price alone… and probably the reason why he came out to do more encores than he probably anticipated.
It was one of those “you had to be there” moments.
The encores just kept coming and C.O.M.I.N.G. Ya get what I’m sayin’… ?
He shook my libido upside down, inside out and all ways psychedelic, kaleidoscopic, magnetic, kinetic and frenetic. Yep. I’m forever changed on a cellular level – again.
To be honest, I was curious to experience Prince without his guitar, as it’s always been a strong extension of his stage persona and presence, but I was not disappointed. Every single nuance was not only highlighted but heard and felt. An elegant courtship with his ultimate fans – true believers who paid top dollar to experience the majesty and magic. His Piano and Microphone (only) tour shone a light on a more intimate and private Prince – the one he wants to share with a select few, whenever, where ever, however.
It’s a rare artist that can take you on a psychonautic journey to the inner landscapes of both his soul and yours with vintage flair and funky finesse. Very few can hold a candle to his impeccable artistic integrity and animal magnetism, not even a hungry pride of lions.
It was sheer orgasmic.
Thank you for allowing us to traverse and traipse around the sharp edges and soft curves of your inner crevices, Prince. You let us in. You rocked our world.
Cue.. “I Love U in Me…”
As I finish writing this, his 6.30 show is about to start at the State Theatre in Sydney.
I have 3 hrs to catch his final show and a possible after-party. I am tempted. Dare I? I’m in.