If you were lucky enough to catch one of the performance on Prince’s two-night, four-show stand at the Louisville Palace, you got to see a phenomenal showing by one of the Old Masters who still performs like a sugar-buzzed kid in a candy store. Backed by his all-girl trio 3RDEYEGIRL, His Purpleness took the tri-state area down Alphabet Street back to 1999 in a Little Red Corvette full of Raspberry Beret(s). No Controversy about this master of Musicology, Prince made it Purple Rain until The Chocolate Invasion happened in this reviewer’s pants.
His Purple Majesty, Prince.
This reviewer saw the second show on Sunday,last in the four-show stand. Prince walked out (or was carried out Ariana Grande-style) by a bodyguard. Parked in his spot for the entirety of the show, Prince struggled to stay upright. The fifty-six legend complained of a hip problem. I checked Twitter and found that Prince had apparently fractured his hip the night before doing a split.
Prince, being a Jehovah’s Witness, refuses surgeries that require blood transfusions. Rather than accept doctor’s orders to have surgery and cancel the rest of his tour, Prince decided to treat his hip fracture with intermittent bedrest and rubbing vegan cuisine on the hip. He breathed heavily throughout the show and occasionally muttered “tired. . . want to go home” to rapturous Louisville cheers.
The first song of the set was a rousing “Endorphinmachine” from The Gold Experience. After the song, the crowd waited with bated breath as the Purple One looked down his pedals and. . . decided to play “Endorphinmachine” again, to the confusion of everyone including his band. After a second but no less stellar rendition of that song, he cranked up the riff to “Endorphinmachine” again until one of the 3RDEYEGIRL band members stepped over to Prince and mentioned something to him off mic. From there, the band cranked up “Take Me With U”. While the crowd applauded, Prince looked back and asked “how long have we been out here already?” and attemped to play “Endorphinmachine” a third time before the PA went dead and the lights went out.
The house lights came up as the stage stood dark and empty for nearly a half-hour. The audience grew quiet than began cheering, then grew quiet again, then began clapping, then booed lustily, then cheered. Some people left and went back to the ticket booth to get a refund only to find a sign on the window that said “SUCKERS” signed with an androgynous Prince symbol.
A roadie came out with a stool and a Crosley turntable. He placed the turntable on the stool then left. The house lights dimmed and the stage was illuminated as a second roadie entered stage left with a vinyl record. The roadie placed the record on the Crosley before putting the needle on it and pressing play. It was a 12-inch of “Batdance” and the crowd exploded in delight. The 12-inch “Batdance” played in its’ entirety as the roadies looked sternly at the show. Security confiscated a camera when someone in the front row tried to take a picture of the turntable.
When the record stopped, the roadies took it, the Crosley and stool and left the stage. An announcer said, “Thank you for coming to the concert tonight. Please leave in an orderly manner. Thank you for coming to the concert.”
On the way out, this reviewer was presented with a religious tract from a strange little man in a trenchcoat and barely-concealed afro.