Purple Rain, Hail or Shine – A concert that almost completely delights.
By Clint Drieberg
After almost a decade away from our shores The Artist Formerly Known as The Artist Formerly Known as Prince began his “Welcome2Australia” tour at Sydney’s Allphones Arena.
Despite arriving over half an hour late, Prince did not disappoint a crowd expecting nothing but the hits, from a true hit maker. On stage for 2 and a half hours he delivered songs dating back to 1981’s ‘Controversy’ album and (unlike so many great overseas artists for visit Australia) did not have any unknown tracks to promote from a new CD no one has heard of.
While it was a shame not to hear ‘Diamond & Peals’ and lesser known hits like ‘Erotic City’ and ‘Get Off’ every show he does is completely different so don’t even expect the show I witnessed to be the show that will play in Melbourne or Brisbane, let alone the remainder of his Sydney shows.
Prince also showed off his talent as a prolific songwriter in the early part of his career belting out songs he gave to Sinead O’Connor, Martika and his own band Vanity 6 and reclaimed them almost like he should have recorded them in the first place. He also borrowed the Michael Jackson classic ‘Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough’ and funked it up even further, not to mention mimicking a few dance moves from the King of Pop as well.
The 53 year old looks just like he did in the 90’s and performed to all points of his 360 degree stage in the shape of the symbol he once used instead of a name so every seat in the arena gives a good view of a music maestro who works a cordless electric guitar while strutting down the catwalk just as easily as he jams on an oversized purple grand piano that lit up like a Christmas tree.
While everyone who sees this show will get to see the brilliance of Prince in all his sparkling glory I was slightly frustrated by a sometimes self-indulgent artist who over-performed his biggest hit ‘Purple Rain’ twice; acoustically to start the show and then in an almost mostly crowd-sung 10 minute version to close the show.
Watch out for moments of a mad man as well. When not happy with the sound of an un-tuned guitar, he throws it off stage to an unsuspecting roadie. When getting too hot wearing a heavy leather tasseled jacket, he carelessly discards to the crowd of fans in the near $500-a-pop bar-style lounge seats. And when keeping an audience waiting in the dark for over 15 minutes, he rides a classic purple bicycle back to centre stage to perform half a half known hit for a second encore.
Prince’s May 2012 visit is his third tour of Australia and he is performing 9 arena shows as well as some last minute late night smaller shows at venues TBA as he arrives in the city
Friday 11 May 1st Sydney Allphones Arena
Saturday 12 May 2nd Sydney Allphones Arena
Monday 14 May 1st Melbourne Rod Laver Arena
Tuesday 15 May 2nd Melbourne Rod Laver Arena
Friday 18 May 1st Brisbane Entertainment Centre
Tuesday 22 May 3rd Sydney Allphones Arena
Saturday 26 May 2nd Brisbane Entertainment Centre
Wednesday 30 May 3rd Melbourne Rod Laver Arena
All tickets – Ticketek: Tel 132 849 or www.ticketek.com.au from $99.
The tour is presented by Van Egmond Group and Chugg Entertainment.
www.princetour.com.au or facebook/princew2aus
Below is the setlist for Prince at Allphones Arena, Friday May 11.
Gold (from The Gold Experience, 1995)
Jam Of The Year (from Emancipation, 1996)
Song Of The Heart (from Happy Feet)
Money Don’t Matter 2 Night (from Diamonds and Pearls, 1991)
Let’s Go Crazy (from Purple Rain, 1984)
Delirious (from 1999, 1982)
1999 (from 1999, 1982)
Little Red Corvette (from 1999, 1982)
Nothing Compares 2U (recorded by Sinead O’Connor)
Take Me With U (from Purple Rain, 1984)
Raspberry Berry (from Around The World In A Day, 1985)
Cream (from Diamonds and Pearls, 1991)
Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough (Michael Jackson cover)
Sometimes It Snows In April (from Parade, 1986)
Love Thy Will B Done (recorded by Martika)
Mountains (from Parade, 1986)
When Doves Cry (from Purple Rain, 1984)
Nasty Girl (recorded by Vanity 6)
Sign O The Times (from Sign O The Times, 1987)
The Most Beautiful Girl In The World (from The Gold Experience, 1995)
Forever In My Life (from Sign O The Times, 1987)
I Would Die 4U (from Purple Rain, 1984)
Purple Rain (from Purple Rain, 1984)
Controversy (from Controversy, 1981)
Peach (from The Hits2, 1993)
PICTURE CREDITS : NPG Records - on behalf of POLLACK CONSULTING
Prince performing in concert - Allphones Arena, Sydney, Australia – 11th. May 2012.