Sunday 21 November 2010

Gelredome Funkiest Place On Earth with The Party Man

There isn't much that comes close to seeing musical genius Prince performing live. I have heard that many times but somehow just never actually got to go to one of his concerts. So when this show was announced only a few weeks ago I didn't hesitate and bought tickets right away. Although the Gelredome stadium isn't the best place for live concerts I couldn't care less. I just really wanted to see the party man from Minnesota!

Prince at Gelredome Arnhem, November 18 2010 (Ronald Says 10 out of 10)
Scared off by the travel warnings we decide to take the train. This is one smooth trip and after waiting in line about half an hour to get in we find ourselves walking onto the field that's still pretty empty. To our surprise we can even still make it into the circle, the closed area in front of the stage. After getting the wrist band that allows reaccess to that area we have plenty of time for toilet breaks, a snack and a few drinks. We're so ready now!

The stage looks basic like I read about the show in Antwerp and this time there's no support act either. Prince apparently wants to keep things simple this time. While the lights are still on he and his band appear on stage and get right to it. A big non stop funk medly with covers like Billy Cobham's 'Stratus', Janet Jackson's 'What Have You Done For Me Lately' and Sly & The Family Stone songs passes by in a high tempo. Prince doesn't want to waste any time and turns the place into a big party right away. He's all over the stage himself, sits on the purple piano, interacts with the crowd while playing his guitar.

Time to move on to his own songs. Or as he says himself "I have too many hits". Ain't that the truth! He keeps knocking them out one by one. Asking the most of his band that does a fine job nevertheless. Especially drummer John Blackwell who's showing some great grooves and impressive chops. Prince is showing why he's a musical genius: he's playing bass, even together with bass player Ida Nielsen on one bass, joins keyboard player Renato Neto in a solo and sits behind his own electronic drum kit a few times.

And Prince knows how to party since he's the Party Man. "This is the funkiest place on earth" he shouts out. You bet ya! I don't think there can be a more funky place at the moment. During Chiq's 'Le Freak' he invites people on stage to dance and sing with him. This party can't get any better can it? Oh yes it can! He plays a great version of 'Purple Rain', changes the whole song and shows why he's a great guitarist.

He leaves the stage, but this is Prince, we're not even close of going home. Time to pick up the pace and shift gear. Big hits follow in a killer tempo: 'Kiss', 'Let's Go Crazy', 'Delirious', '1999', they're all there. Another encore follows where it's time for disco. When he comes back on stage there's a more quiet moment with one of my favourite Prince songs 'Sometimes It Snows In April'. Goose bumps all over my skin. No need to turn sad though since here's 'Little Red Corvette'!

More songs follow and there isn't anyone that's not dancing by now. Prince won't leave until everyone is satisfied including himself. It was great to see how much he's enjoying it himself. He's laughing, interacting with his band and the crowd. Everyone is taking part in this funky party. The man may be small in size but he's the biggest man in the stadium tonight. And like anyone needed any convincing he's one of the biggest artists around.

Even the Dutch railways can't wipe the grin off my face by screwing up our train ride home. Not even the whole aftershow buzz with no aftershow at all in the end can spoil this moment of brilliance. That grin will be there for a few days more. I don't think I'll ever want to miss another Prince show from now on.

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1 comment:

  1. Prince is a Jehovah Witness, he's not the "Prince" you think he is. Seriously, he's almost like copying himself, his past Prince but with a safer, tamed, motive and performance.