Prince Last Concert: My Personal Experience

IMG_1867The realization that we weren’t going to be able to attend Prince’s Piano & A Microphone Atlanta concert hit me like a heartbreak. “We’re coming back to town that day.” My husband reminding me that we would be out of town for spring break, and attending the concert that I’ve dreamt about, was just not an option.

On Monday April 11th I heard that Prince had to reschedule the concert due to illness and that tickets were still available. Excitement poured over me as if God had just winked and nodded at me to say “I’ve gotcha covered”.

I’ve been a fan since Prince’s album 1999, which was released in 1982 and I was just 12 years old. Vinyl records and music videos were the center of my teenaged years. I remember MTV launching and staying up to watch it “blast off” at midnight. The next day a group of us went to my friend Chris White’s house and sat around all day with our eyes glued to his TV watching music videos.  From the 1999 album 1999, Little Red Corvette and Delirious were all top hits and I loved them all. When I first saw his music video and Prince walk out under red lights, in his shinny purple suit, hand in his pocket and began to sing Little Red Corvette, I knew he was a star.

My hubby and I headed to midtown, in typical awful ATL traffic, parked and walked over to the Fox. Concert goers all around us, talking about how they saw him at the Fox during the Purple Rain tour, my hubby was one of those attendees, the excitement growing, the vibe was surreal, one of my bucket list items was finally getting x-off.

We took a quick moment to snap a selfie outside the Fox.

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Then headed in just in time to find our seats and take it all in. The ushers were all over, very helpful group, but we knew they were there to also prevent pictures during the concert. The Fox was VERY specific about the requirement for no cameras, no cell phone use during the concert or they would be confiscated. I’m not really a rule breaker and know that these instructions were really from the Purple One himself. He wanted his audience to fully experience the performance and the emotions, so I planned to follow the rules.

There were photo opps prior to the performance so most people were snapping until the lights went down. The imagery on the screen went to Prince with his famous third eye then morphed into other poses of him until the screen was filled with a grid of Prince images and his outline appeared from behind the screen. The Fox went crazy! He had his cane but didn’t really seem to need it, presented as just a prop. He walked around the stage and piano a few moments while we all were screaming.

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Once finally seated at his new purple piano he began to light it up with none other than Little Red Corvette! He mixed in Dirty Mind as if he was on a two turntable mixer and not a piano. Wildness evoked cheers, singing, jumping, fist pumping craze. Atlanta loves Prince and he felt it, he fed off of it.

He moved into a Vince Guaradi cover of Linus & Lucy which he slowly turned while seating, towards the audience and showed us just how fast he could play the piano with one hand. He was playing around, having fun, showing us just how honed his mastery really was.

He took a few mins to sincerely apologize for rescheduling due to illness but said “but we’re here now”. Always living in the moment. He began to play a funky tune and told us about his father and how he played funky jazz, that he didn’t sing just would add a few “uns, bips, and oooh ahs.” So Prince played one of his father’s beats and oooh ah’ed and said “doesn’t that sound cool?” Why yes it did.

After A Case of You the Joni Mitchell cover, he got up and walked off stage, clearly moved by his own lyrics and raw emotions. Came back and said “Sometime I forget how emotional these songs can be”. During Controversy he twisted the lyrics and put a gospel spin on the tune including asking us “Do you love God? I love God”.

Throughout the concert my emotions were all over the place, I laughed, I cried, I left the concert hot and turned on. Who didn’t?
Prince’s performance gave us everything, he poured his soul into this concert and tour. Fans around the US that were fortunate enough to see him on his Piano & Microphone tour all know the feelings. They’ve echoed my comments that his performance was impressive, not just impressive for a man of 57 but that he crushed it at all levels.

His performance took us into three settings: a dance party, church, and bed.

This is why we all in some way connect to his music, it reaches our universal living interests and opens up all of our senses. During the concert we experience the flowing smell of incense, the sound waves of music, visual creations of a skilled performer, and the sound of killer vocals reaching upwards of 5 octaves, on pitch and sexy as hell.

When we left the concert we were on a high, I tweeted exactly how I felt after experiencing his talent.

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Once the news hit of his death, I was crushed, the world was crushed, guess we’re all still in shock. People began to search the Internet for the news, to confirm that this wasn’t a hoax, to see his tweets prior, tweets from the Atlanta concert goers…and then my tweet went a bit viral.

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We all wanted to hold on, feel those deeply connected emotions again. But he was gone, the elevator descended, the reaper came.

Prince thank you for sharing your glorious gifts, we will live larger than life and in the moment because of you. We are all #transformed

JB~
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Set List

  1. Little Red Corvette / Dirty Mind
  2. Linus & Lucy (Vince Guaradi cover)
  3. His fathers jazz tune
  4. Nothing Compares 2 U
  5. Joy in Repetition
  6. Muse 2 the Pharaoh
  7. U Got the Look
  8. Pop Life
  9. Elephants & Flowers
  10. I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man
  11. A Case of You (Joni Mitchell cover)

Encore 1

  1. I Feel for You
  2. Controversy
  3. The Most Beautiful Girl in the World
  4. I Would Die for U

Encore 2

  1. Heroes (David Bowie cover)
  2. Diamonds & Pearls
  3. Adore
  4. How Come U Don’t Call me Anymore
  5. Do Me, Baby
  6. I wanna Be Your Lover
  7. Kiss

 

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About janetberridge

Writer and foodie from Atlanta, GA Married to a BBQ Pit Master and have three beautiful daughters. North Carolina raised, lived in Savannah GA for 13 years, currently residing in Atlanta for over 12 years. By day I'm a healthcare sourcing manager, with an MBA in Healthcare Administration, article writer, future fictional book author, and now a blogger. Rib me!
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45 Responses to Prince Last Concert: My Personal Experience

  1. essencescott says:

    Hi. First off, thanks for reading my post about Prince. Like I said, I never got to see him live, but I have a lot of memories with him. Finding out about his death was crushing. The whole world I knew of was crushed. Everyone sharing memories and talking about him. It was, for me, one large Internet memorial service except we were all taking and crying at once. I’m really going to miss Prince. I really enjoyed reading this post. Thank you for telling me about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. walkerkaty0 says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience. That is one thing I liked about Prince he took his art seriously and didn’t get into the publicity and politics of the music or the industry. For that I will always respect him.

    Btw, I found your blog through Danny’s page.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nolan Schmidt says:

    Really loved the description of the show, I can only imagine what it must have been like to actually be there! I’m only 22, so I wasn’t around when Prince was the biggest star around, but I cannot even fathom what it was like to hear his songs when they were released originally. None the less, I have clung to his music ever since I discovered it when I “borrowed” my mom’s Purple Rain album!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. browngirlnow says:

    Man!!! I felt like I was there! I wish I was there! I so wanted to see him one last time in Dallas. You are so blessed! Cherish the memory!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. yuzukho says:

    Thank you Janet for sharing this unique moment! I can understand your emotions and it’s great to have so many details, with set list and a few pics for the atmosphere.
    I havent had the chance to see him perform live, he’s left this world too early.
    Let’s all cherish his legacy!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. rebeldeuce says:

    Thanks for this. Nice to get a first hand report of the show!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Keith says:

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful experiences of the show. It sounds like a blast and I am very jealous but happy you got to go see him.

    I’ve seen him many times and am always moved by his creativity, energy and fun.

    I have actually heard this concert as someone leaked it on the Internet. I can now match the songs with your set list 😃 Thanks for sharing your brilliant experience.

    Peace and be wild.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow we never know when it will be the last time we’ll get to experience someone and all their greatness. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Thank you so much for sharing this. I teared up as I read this lovely tribute, and I missed out in not going to a live Prince performance.

    Before I went to see The Purple Rain yesterday, I had watched several of Prince’s performances on YouTube. Two matters stuck me and left me in awe (as I am a writer myself and understand a lot of Prince’s passion and love for his craft because I feel the same way about mines): In 1985, he performed at the Academy Awards Purple Rain. In 2007, he performed at the Super Bowl. One matter that left me in awe is his consistency as a performer. He is a masterful showman, and he can shred the guitar like no other. What amazed me is that these performances are about 30 years apart. The younger Prince and older Prince shows me that this individual was a master at his craft. He was able to hone in around his late twenties his gift, and in his late fifties mastered it with such consistency and grace. Both of these performances showed me that he didn’t take his gifts lightly, and he has been in the zone for his gift for many decades–practicing–and practically living and breathing what he does. This is what makes him beyond great. The music was his call, and he always responded to it.

    What other matter is that not only is he truly gifted, BUT HE WAS PASSIONATE about his gift. He loved his gift–his talent. In the 1985 performance, his passion showed through in how he performed Purple Rain. He not only understood his passion for his gift, but he showed that passion by illustrating through his gift. He shows this again in the 2007 Super Bowl performance at the end when he sang “The Purple Rain.” He showed the same passion and dedication to his craft.

    What I’ve learned from Prince’s death is more about Prince. I didn’t realized that he and I have the same feelings about how art is created. Creating art is about respecting the gifts that you have and making choices to illustrate those gifts. You do it for yourself, and if anyone wants to celebrate your gifts, they will do it by listening or reading what you’ve created. It is the admiration of celebrating what the artists has put out in the world. Prince wanted us to celebrate his music because he appreciated where it came from. When he passed away, I was sad that another “icon,” passed away. Yet, I’ve learned that I am deeply sadden because a human being with such a gift has passed away. What makes me sadder that a human being who took it all in strife and celebrated himself—and loved himself unconditionally…that is the greater lost. The greater lost is that a beyond decent human being left the planet, and our world is little darker because he isn’t in it. Yes, he left a lot of music in his vault, BUT his mere essence of not being here anymore is bittersweet. The actual person isn’t here to give us his continued passion in person.

    From what you describe about his piano and microphone tour, he could do it all. He showed so much of himself to us through his music. When I listen to “Little Red Corvette” (that’s one of my favorite Prince’s songs), all I can think of about how cool he was…and he even didn’t have to try. He just was.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Pingback: Prince’s Last Show: By a Fan Who Was There – I Would Write 4 U

  11. Beautifully written! I was wiping tears by the end… Thank you for reaching out and sharing your experience. I’ll hang onto the March 2011 concert experience forever!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. dakrólak says:

    My favorite part is the Guiraldi part, who gets no love, but was an incredible PIANIST! That set list was gorgeous, and I’m so upset I didn’t get to see the show.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. We’ve been losing so many amazingly talented people lately that I feel we all have to shine a little brighter to add something positive to the world in their absence. I never got the chance to see him play live, thank you so much for sharing your memories with us!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Such an amazing experience. I am saddened that I never had the pleasure of seeing Prince person live.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. marlasueblog says:

    Great post! I’m so glad to you got to see him this last time. Thanks for sharing your memories and the experience. I am filled with regret and sadness that I only saw him live one time. I can’t seem to listen to anything else at all. Not sure when that will change. Such a loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Janet, thank you for sharing your experience at that last concert. I was, of course, at both shows that night. He touched me in ways that I can never express through words. His music touched so many of us, deeply, to our core, and became a part of who we are as a collective and as an individual. I met some incredible people during this concert and will always cherish the memories from that night. My tweet to Prince will forever live on his Twitter page, the only remaining tweet from the Atlanta shows, and erroneously reported by the media that Prince had stated “#FeelingRejuvenated”. I’ve been trying to get that cleared up because Prince did not like untruths, especially from the media. Be that as it may, I’m glad you got to experience him that night, too. We are amongst a very small group of people who were honored, blessed, and touched by these last two performances Prince gave that night. Seems so strange to be saying that…

    Liked by 1 person

  17. So glad you stopped by so I got the chance to read your latest post! Love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. J.L. Smith says:

    Thank you for stopping by my blog and my post about Prince. You have a very special memory to cherish here. So sad to read the post and realize that he is gone (again). Such greats only come around so often, so we have to appreciate them while we have them. Cherish that night and experience. ~J.L.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. barbarajot says:

    Janet — I am so glad you happened upon my Prince post and led me to yours. I have wondered what it must have been like for the people in Atlanta who got to see his very last concert. And now I’ve got a firsthand report! (What a wonderful set list he played, too.) Oh how I wish I’d gone to the Piano & a Microphone concert at Paisley Park. Thank you for bringing me to the one in Atlanta via your words… bjt

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Instaology says:

    This was great reading, thank you for sharing! I wish I was there.
    I saw him twice here in Sweden – first time at Way Out West festival in 2011 and then at Stockholm Music&Arts festival in 2013. The Concert in 2011 was pure magic – a warm summer night with purple confetti rain and a full moon shining over us. The music went on and on, Prince didn’t want to stop.1h scheduled gig plus 1,5h extras He had such a presence on stage – both towards his band and his audience. Kind of chatting with Rosie Gaines during Nothing Compares To You. Lovely.
    I’m deeply sad over the loss. A great and unique performer. He was – and still is – The Sound Track of My Life.
    I read this article some days ago and it helped me understan the profoud sadness I feel in my heart: (link to Huffpost):
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mourning-prince-why-we-grieve-celebrity-deaths-grief_us_57190ba4e4b0d4d3f722974a

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sounds like it was a once in a lifetime concert! Read the grief article too, thanks for sharing! I’ve had a lot of readers say they are grieving hard and didn’t understand why so maybe this will help! Thx

      Liked by 1 person

  21. 1girlxo says:

    Thank you for sharing this experience. I never got the chance to see him live 😦 so this was very appreciated. Controversy is one of my fav songs, I loved that tidbit you shared. Sending you big hugs and again, thanks ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  22. luvwriting50 says:

    Your story is amaxing!:Thanks for allowing me to live through your words. People can steal many things, but never an experience

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Great story! Thank you for sharing. Wish I could have seen this concert. We will always be transformed thanks to Prince.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Teri M says:

      That was nice and thanks for sharing. Regretfully I never saw Prince in concert. Very intriguing man. Listen to his music every chance I get.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Great, great story! The Piano & Microphone never reached Europe, due to the terrorist attacks in Paris at the end of 2015. So, unfortunately missed that tour. But, I saw him many many times, so it’s okay. Thanks to your account of your evening I have an indication of what I missed out of. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Pingback: This is how I will remember Prince…his last performance was spectacular  | SpanishMossSeries

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