A Prince Reviewed by Julie McNamara


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A personal review Prince by Julie McNamara with links to a series of other reviews of his Hit and Run I and II shows in 2014

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A Prince Reviewed by Julie McNamara

  1. 1. A Prince Reviewed By Julie McNamara
  2. 2. I've always admired Prince and his 'body of work' as well as the wonderful 'Purple Rain' era, not to mention the fact he's cute too, but nothing had prepared me for the day when I finally got the chance to see him live............. To date, I have attended a total of 8 Prince Shows. (Not many compared to some fans I have met) however, I had attempted to see him several times before this, but for various reasons, it never happened until the 21 Nights in London..........I call it my 'Awakening'! This was at the 02 Arena in 2007 - from the time he popped up from the stage in a puff of smoke until he disappeared 3 hours later, without exaggeration, you could have put a pineapple in my mouth! I truly sat there in awe. I was 'gobsmacked' to say the least. I had NEVER witnessed a show like it or seen a Performer anywhere close to what he can do and believe me, I've seen plenty of shows/concerts in my time! It was like he'd spun me around/slapped me across the face and woken me up to what is real music and talent. It was 'life changing'. From that moment on, I was spreading the word that "you had to see him to believe it" (and thank god I finally did get to see him). A week later, I managed to get more tickets and took the train back to the O2 with another friend, who I knew would love him. This time we were 4 rows from the front and I could see my Prince in all his glory. I came out of the second show, like the first, asking myself "where had I been all these years??? how come I'd missed this phenomenally talented maestro and wasted all this time"? If ever there was a case of wanting to turn back the clock, this was one of them. I was almost angry at myself for spending half my life totally oblivious to the fact that I'd missed this gifted showman way too many times in the past. What planet had I been residing on for god sake?
  3. 3. After the second show, there was no way I was going to miss his 'last night' at the O2, so off I went back to the Arena! Believe me, I had to beg for that ticket - they were like gold dust. I was lucky to get in. If I'd had my way, I would have gone a few more nights, but work commitments prevented that and we won't mention the credit card bill! I arrived as the lights went down just as this genius was about to appear onstage. I was 2 rows from the front this time, so was even closer to him. I was in Heaven! I didn't think he could excel himself anymore than at the previous shows, but then again, silly me, I forgot this man can work magic like no other. His super talented musicians and dancers superbly supported their Leader and so did the enthusiastic audience. Their response said it all. The purple glow sticks we had been given on arrival, lit the arena and the place felt spiritual. By this time, I worshipped the ground he walked on and I wasn't alone. What really amazed me was, he held the 20,000 strong audience in the palm of his hand as though he was taking a 'stroll in the park! He made it look effortless. He was totally in command at all times, yet he allowed his band or whoever else he shared the stage with, the space and spotlight they so deserved. He was outstanding and I loved the centred stage where pretty much everyone got a great view of the entire show. On my way out of every gig, I could hear people whispering "he's a genius", "I'd give him one" or "how cool is he?". All the things that had already whizzed through my head. I was completely hooked by now. I drove everyone who knows me later, nuts with my constant references to how fantastic he was/is and kept telling them that they "hadn't lived if they had never seen him live" or "he should be on their Top 10 list of people to see before they die". I wanted to shout it from the rooftops. I even fantasised about becoming his latest flame. I didn't know what he'd done to me, but I wanted more!
  4. 4. For some reason, I started to write 'prolifically' as a result of his O2 shows. I've written poetry in the past and imagined one day that some of 'my work' would become songs, he had stirred my creative side and I just couldn't put the pen down. How amazing would it be I thought, to spend a day with this guy and have him write the music to some of my words! Well a girl can dream.................no artist had ever inspired me in this way, I was in a purple daze. It would be a year and a half before our paths would cross again - this time it was in LA. Whilst visiting friends, I'd heard Prince was holding an Oscar Party. At the last minute I found out the venue had been changed from his house to the Avalon Club in Hollywood! I took my chances and waited for 4 hours outside - it was worth every minute. I almost died when it was HIM just a few feet away walking around when I got inside! His beautiful face was right in front of me! He was chatting to the Sound Engineer beside the stage, meanwhile, I had turned to jelly. It wasn't long after that when he sauntered onto the stage and played for a thrilling 2 hours. By this time, I'd pulled myself together and was having a wonderful time. Following this breathtaking experience, he then mingled with the crowd. I SO wanted to talk to him, but I decided it was best not to embarrass myself (is anyone else this stupid?). I could barely contain myself with how this evening had so far panned out, it was all quite overwhelming. He even brushed past me at one point and stood beside me for a few seconds - I thought my heart would stop! I've since lived to regret my opportunity to say "hello", after all, when will I ever get that chance again? - sadly I haven't - YET! Despite this, at least I can say I've been to one of Prince's famous Oscar Parties and memorable it was too! I skipped out of there at 4am and felt as though I was floating on a cloud. To this day, it's one of the highlights of my life, but how I wish I had summoned up the courage to say something to this legend/greatest entertainer who I've ever had the privilege to stand beside…..
  5. 5. …. Talk about "you always regret the things you don't do". Since this magical night, I've experienced another 4 more superb shows - The Hop Farm Festival in Kent was next - where my brother and his girlfriend were 'converted' that day by coming with me. What a night - fabulous outside concert and for once, good weather! I could see several Prince fans, including myself, crying at the mere vocals chords the man possesses - it's emotional. Put simply "Nothing compares to U" is an understatement. His dancing skills are astounding and his ability to play at least 25 instruments blows me away. Whilst onstage, he doesn't stop, but what's astonishing is, he doesn't even break a sweat! The only thing that oozes out of his pores are bucket loads of confidence! It's also incredible to see naive newcomers to his shows who display their stunned/amazed expressions just watching this man in action - I'm sure my face was just the same at the 02. Then came Malahide Castle in Dublin, with yet another friend who was yet to witness this superhuman musician. She too was hooked by the end of the evening! I intend to influence many more friends at future shows! Once there, it's a piece of cake for Prince to 'convert' them. In February of this year, Prince spontaneously sprung up all over London with the first part of his Hit and Run Tour - sadly, at the same time, I had flown to L.A. - of all the times for me not to be around? - oh the irony - I wanted to scream! I then returned back to London as he flew back to do shows days later in Hollywood! Typical........ but............
  6. 6. ........in May, he delighted us again by returning to the UK last month - thank god I had no trips planned. I made sure I purchased tickets for the first show at Birmingham 3 weeks ago - what more can I say? no other performer fills me with so much excitement/makes me smile with his cheeky comments and mischievous glances/makes me want to dance all evening and moves me in ways I never thought possible. I ache from head to toe desperate to see him again the minute he leaves the stage. I've got it bad! He is a "Master of his Craft". He transcends spiritual messages through his music and I hear every word. He creates and plays any genre of music and switches from one to the other quicker than you can say "Dearly Beloved". I tingle when I hear the opening bars of such songs as "Purple Rain" or "When Doves Cry" and yes Prince, I can certainly picture 'you and I engaged in a kiss' or anything else for that matter! Subsequently, he then played in Belgium and Paris and then stunned us all by announcing imminent shows at The Roundhouse in Camden, London last week! I was ecstatic! It wasn't easy getting a ticket, but once again, I WASN'T GOING TO MISS THIS! Despite begging my boss to leave work early (for the second time in a month) and also getting soaked, along with all the other purple fans waiting outside in the London rain, it didn't dampen our spirits at all! If anything, there was a buzzy party vibe and I got to meet some lovely likeminded people. That night, yet another fabulous funky time was had by all in the building - Prince can do no wrong - he's simply 'brilliant'. He sang hit after hit and as he went along, he threw in and mixed up old and new material that was pure genius. I am still recovering from yet another spellbound night.
  7. 7. At all times, his timing is spot on and he seems to have a natural connection with any size audience he happens to perform in front of. Awesome! 3rdeyegirl are excellent alongside him - they are brilliant musicians in their own right and have already achieved huge success in their young lives - I'm sure they are aware that they are currently sharing a stage/their lives with the 'Greatest Teacher' they are ever likely to encounter and that they value this golden opportunity that has been bestowed upon them. Enjoy your good fortune girls. Lucky you! Even Prince himself once said- "Schools in and I'm the Teacher"! We all need to pay attention! I only hope I get to encounter many more 'lessons' - I look forward to furthering my education!! When it comes to performing, I'm sure he could spin 10 plates on poles or juggle several balls at the same time he plucks the strings of his much loved guitars, plays the piano or whatever other instrument he has in his grasp, whilst belting out one song after another. Like us, he appears to enjoy every moment. I know what I'm coming back as in my next life - it has a long neck with frets and a curved body with strings! I will go everywhere with my talented owner! I know he will take good care of me!! He may throw me around sometimes, but think of all the handling I'll get - whoo ooh! He makes every show seem like a "doddle". I'm actually green with envy on so many levels as to what he has achieved and can do with ease. I hear he can beat anyone hands down at Ping Pong too. Is there anything he can't do? I'm up for a game whenever he has time!!
  8. 8. Since my 'awakening', I have done some research on Prince and it seems to me that he has worked extremely hard throughout his life to be where he is today. Only truly talented people remain popular/at the top and because of this and his sheer dedication, he is clearly, in my opinion, the biggest asset to the music industry. I'd like to add that every show is a new experience - he constantly reinvents himself, sometimes with different musicians whenever he feels the need - all of whom are a credit to him and his art. He never ceases to create wonder with spicing up or calming down his enormous back catalogue and whenever the fancy takes him, sheds a new light on old favourites too. I love the way he currently has different versions of "Always in my Hair", "Red Corvette" "I can never take the place of your Man" and "Something in the Water" to name a few. He is brimming with musical wisdom and comes across as having huge respect and love for his devoted fans (friends) around the world and unlike most of us, he has somehow managed to dodge ageing on his journey and looks incredible. I'm always amazed at his copious amounts of energy. I wish I knew his secret! I feel privileged and blessed to be living the same time as this musical 'icon' who has already taught me a lot about music. He's a gift from god and I truly appreciate special gifts like him. I can't wait to experience many more 'dates' with him as I plan to make up for lost time! In his own words "nobody does it like Prince does" - I couldn't agree more.
  9. 9. For more reviews on Prince, click the pictures Shepherds Bush, Koko’s Manchester, Amsterdam The Roundhouse George Clinton In Conversation with Dr Funkenberry
  10. 10. July 14 2014 – A Tribute to Prince Available worldwide on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon etc. Proceeds going to a Children’s Hospice Charity