Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, the home of the 2013 MTV VMAs, and City Winery in downtown Manhattan are only a mere 4.2 miles away from one another (so, a three-hour subway trip). But last night, it was as if they were in two different worlds. One had this, while the other, better one, the Winery, had Prince playing until nearly 6 a.m.
At 3:14am, Prince came onstage, rocking a huge, tilted black hat and shades, introed by his Donna Grantis and Ida Nilsen of his new femme-power backing band, 3rd Eye Girl, both wailing on guitar like, “Yeah, we play guitar for Prince, NBD.” He launched into “Strays of the World,” then moved seamlessly into a medley including Chaka Khan’s “Ain’t No Body” and Mary J. Blige’s “Family Affair.” The hat came off, revealing Prince’s glorious curls, as did the coat, revealing a sleeveless black mock turtleneck and gold chains. “Superconductor,” “1999,” shit was crazy, a specially modified version of “All the Critics Love U in New York” (“New York ain’t got no rhythm…”, he improvised, like a challenge, it seemed). During every instrumental, Prince was there, holding or adjusting the mike for each saxophonist or horn player, dancing and clapping his hands in appreciation. “Turn up the horns!” he’d shout, or command that the lights be turned on so he could see the crowd, or completely off for “Dark.” “I’m really tired of people pleasing,” he said before launching into “People Pleaser.” He took us to church, and at one point did a Prince faint, with the entire band rushing over to pretend-revive him. Old collaborator Tamar Davis joined him on “Nothing Compares 2 You” at 4:14am, an hour into a set that seemed nowhere close to ending. The entire brass band came center stage for “Courtin’ Time,” and then Larry Graham came out for “Get on the Boat,” the supposed end of the set. Prince told the crowd to “support real music,” and walked off stage.
But yeah, this was no curfew night and Prince was only getting started. “You guys gotta work tomorrow, but this” — the stage — “is my town. This is where I live,” he said before promising that “This turnaround is gonna be so hot you’re gonna think it’s an act of God,” and started playing “Act of God.” There was a cover of Janet Jackson’s “What Have You Done For Me Lately” and Jackson 5’s “Dancing Machine.” He left the stage again, only to start Encore #2 with a nine-minute solo piano medley at 4:50am (“Diamonds & Pearls” “Dorothy Parker” “Do Me Baby”). “How many of you know about the group, the Time?” he asked, playing his ’80s side group’s amazing hit “Cool.” (“Ceeee-Oh-Oh-Lllll” “Are you hot?” “No.” “Do you know why?” “Yeah” “Because you’re cool.”) Doug E. Fresh came back out, and Prince broke out his guitar. They blazed and left the stage, only to come back for Encore #3 at 5:15am, joined by Larry Graham for a long blues jam sesh, finishing out with “Take Me With U,” “Raspberry Beret” and “Plectrum Electric.” The crowd roared for more, and the band and Prince seemed like they could keep going till next Tuesday. But at 5:37am, the lights came up for good. All told, those horn players had been blowing their hearts out and dancing for five hours straight. (Via)
And before all THAT happened, there were performances from Shelby J., Liv Warfield, Cee Lo, and Doug E. Fresh.
Pretty much. Here’s the full setlist.
(via Getty Image) (Via)