Photo collage created by Q
Jaw dropping is a term used to describe many things. Few actually do truly elicit the physical reaction of a mouth remaining open in sheer astonishment. The Prince concert I saw did exactly that.
A friend got tickets. I knew Prince’s biggest hits at the time but little more. He was the little weird guy in purple who always seemed to be surrounded by pretty women in his videos and who was friends with Madonna. She was my pop cultural reference point at the time.
My friend told me it would be ‘awesome’ and off we trooped. Four of us. Three huge fans and me who knew the famous songs.
It was 1989. The lovesexy tour.
Prince appeared on a moving, multi-tiered stage with a basketball hoop, a fountain, and a full-scale replica of his Ford Thunderbird automobile. He had scantily clad dancers. He had the hits; “Kiss” “Let’s Go Crazy”, “Purple Rain” and others. It was a spectacle, no doubt.
But what caused jaws to drop was the man himself. All 5’2 of him. Such gigantic, phenomenal talent in a tiny conduit!
He jumped from instrument to instrument and played the heck out of each. Danced like he didn’t have a single breakable bone in his body and sang like a demon, effortlessly shifting from baritone to falsetto in the same verse.
I’ve seen many great concerts since, many artists whose music I love more than I do that of Prince Niles Rogers. But, to this day, that concert remains the best I have seen.
Jaw dropping? You bet!
And now Prince is dead. I know more about him. I’m more familiar with his prolific musical output. Yet, that first live experience of him is the one I will remember him for.
His purple highness, miniature pop unicorn, king of the frilly blouse, music legend, we salute you.