SHABOOGIE BOP: Really, I don't know what to say or where to start on the Prince concert last night at Madison Square Garden, the first time in all my years of fandom I had ever seen him live. The largely Sign ☮ the Times-and-earlier setlist speaks for itself. Yes we're talking about a performer so confident that he could open with "The Beautiful Ones" and not something up-tempo yet still have the audience completely captivated; an artist with such a deep catalog of massive hits that he could have played a completely different set yet not leave people feeling disappointed that he went Steve-Martin-talking-Art, so to speak. And at no point was he just doing rote versions which mimicked the originals -- we got an exuberant "Little Red Corvette" and a solo piano "Do Me, Baby" and "I Wanna Be Your Lover" (among others).
People were going berzerk -- Oprah's Favorite Things-level screams from the audience. With good reason -- he plays the audience extremely well, working in-the-round on the same symbol-stage he used for the Super Bowl; the band is solid; and ... I mean, it's Prince. The man's the closest thing we have to a modern James Brown. When he comes to your town, spend what it takes. Just. Go. Who knows -- you may get to see Cyndi Lauper brought on stage to do the O-E-O-E-O's of "Jungle Love."