What's up y'all? I've been snooping around for another Queen show that will uphold the sky-high sonic standard of the first two boots I posted in honor of the Royal Wedding, but so far no luck finding it. However, since I'm not quite ready to switch out the above banner featuring The Future Queen Formerly Known As Kate Middleton, I've decided to stick with the royal theme for awhile yet...
Now, I've been seeing me some shows lately: the past three weeks have encompassed Paul Simon, Robert Plant, and Elvis Costello -- wonderful shows all. And Sunday night brings my beloved Black Angels. However, any music fan or musician -- including all of the above esteemed artists -- will tell you that the reason L.A. is the center of the musical universe right now is due to one man: his name is PRINCE, and he is funky indeed. (At last night's show, Elvis C. even played a little "Purple Rain" in tribute.)
As you may have heard, the Purple One is currently blanketing the City of Angels with love. His current Welcome 2 America tour kicked off last December on the East Coast, but the already-legendary "21 Nite Stand" residency has been happening out here for a solid month now and it still ain't done! I took the wife last Saturday as a Mother's Day gift, and we're headed back tomorrow night for more. Lord knows we might even squeeze in a third show before the purple party's over.
In addition to throwing a nonstop funk-rock bash like you ain't never seen or heard, Prince is also actually performing a great public service for L.A. by staging the entire 21 Nite Stand so far -- unless you count Wednesday night's two surprise gigs at the Troubadour in West Hollywood -- at the venerable and vulnerable Forum. Followers of my blog will know that I happen to love this old shed, which opened way back in my birth year of 1968 down in the 'hood of Inglewood (and yes, it really is the 'hood.) Historic arenas such as this are being torn down by the dozens, and the Fabulous Forum, which is now owned by a church, will no doubt reap great benefits from Prince's 15 shows and counting, despite the fact that most seats are priced at $25 all-in, which obviously benefits the fans far more than the artist or the venue. But if Prince worried about being able to sell that many seats for that many shows, he needn't have once word-of-mouth got out about what a unique event this is, and what an epically great time.
So: great musician, great venue, and great shows, of which this bootleg is one. For an audience recording taped under what I'm sure must have been severe duress -- Prince frowns on any photos being taken at his concerts, not to mention bootlegs being recorded -- this thing sounds fantastic, well-balanced, with the vocals right up front, nice and clear. The two-and-a-half hour show begins in a mellow mood with a jazzy-cool vamp, which then turns into a (gulp) slow jam, my least favorite genre of music in the world. But that's redeemed -- destroyed, really -- by a (no shit) Van Halen-style geetar solo at the end. And then we're off into a cover of "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough" and the party is on. (Setlist linked below.)
If you're anywhere near L.A., get here. If you ain't, then download it and weep!
Welcome 2 America: 21 Nite Stand -- Show 8
The Forum - Inglewood, CA - May 5, 2011 (AUD)