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Observations of drama with Prince by MM & KM

Getting out of the cab in front of the Congress Theater a few minutes past twelve, fully expecting to hear the muffled sounds of Prince from the curb, it was a surprise to find a line stretching into the alley. We positioned ourselves at the end of the line and awaited Prince's arrival. Soon in true Mardi Gras style, Prince arrives with a brigade of police escorting his limo into the alleyway. Inside the theater the scene was surreal, Mr. Purple Rain was in this small room with us. The show was Tamar’s (pronounced TAY-mar), Prince wailed in his role as rhythm guitarist and brought the funk and drama with his solos.

The stage included a women on drums, a dude on base, Tamar, twin backup dancers and the man the room was there to see. One long set was filled with Tamar tunes, covers and one obscure Prince tune. Tamar looks slightly Lauren Hill-ish and has the power vocals with obvious gospel training. She was fun to watch, her natural stage talent is obvious as she is able to command attention on a stage with the man formerly known as a symbol. The songs are poppy R&B tunes and ballads are strong but nothing out of the ordinary. Much of her performance had a staged drama feel but it was an appreciated effort that is rarely seen. She brought up a guy from the audience to serenade and later pulled up a white guy to sing Wild Cherry’s Play that funky music white boy. At this point the twin dancers and Tamar pulled up about 20 dancers from the crowd and moved the party on stage. Prince seemed to love sharing the stage with the audience as he mingled and danced through the group while whaling on the guitar. After that a super sassy black women, an obvious plant, got on the mic and busted out a Chicago themed rhymed.

At this point in the show the hits kept rolling, though the only Prince song we got was Partyman from the Batman soundtrack, it did not matter just being in this intimate setting with this amazing 47 year old man who was obviously loving it was fantastic. Experiencing the drama of Prince is part of the greatness, he went through two wardrobe changes. First wearing a black suit with eggplant top dramatically unbuttoned, next tuxedo pants with a leapord print vest and finally an Asian inspired black suit with white trim. I had not seen so many wardrobe changes in such a short period of time since Whitney. Both of Tamar’s outfits look straight off the runway, gorgeous. Miss Tamar is an obvious diamond in the rough, however the two twin backup dancers did not shine. When their mic was turned up for a brief time, during Janet’s What have you done for me lately their voices were painful and their role of stage candy was evident. In an arena two twin gyrating dancers in tiny outfits works, but not so much in the intimate Congress Theater.

Prince played down his royalty by giving up the spotlight to Tamar, though he still gave us the drama we love him for. Two costume changes during an hour and a half show and walking on and off stage throughout without warning left us fulfilled and madly in love. Highlights included a gift to Chicago, his take on the blues his guitar cried and sassed simultaneously. The other high point was the shocking King of Pop's Don’t Stop Til U Get Enough. For the Chicagoans who were too lazy to venture out at 1 am to see this man, they sure missed out because experiencing Prince in an intimate setting is truely fantastic.

Mp3: Prince - "Black Sweat"

Off of his unreleased album 3121.

3 interested person(s)

jds said... @ 3/01/2006 10:09:00 AM

I hate that picture

K. said... @ 3/01/2006 11:00:00 AM

Found a better one.

K. said... @ 3/02/2006 07:49:00 PM

Great review ladies. I wish I could have been there sounds like it was jammin.

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