Live Review: Prince - Allphones Arena

12 May 2012 | 10:31 am | Beck

From the moment his still-perky-at-fifty little butt stepped onto the stage... the love that poured towards the stage was palpable.

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Some shows you go to, the audience sits back, arms folded and waits for the artist to impress them. They may be on their feet for the last three songs. They'll sing along to the hit and they won't wait for the lights to come on before scrambling to their cars.

Then you go see Prince.

This crowd would not sit down. From the moment his still-perky-at-fifty little butt stepped onto the stage dressed, as only Prince could be, in a racy gold-sequined number, with matching, high-heeled boots – naturally – the love that poured towards the stage was palpable. “Are we here to paaaartay?” his Purpleness asked ever so kindly. “Hells yes!” was the only acceptable response, besides which, any protestations to the negative wouldn't have been heard anyway such was the air punching, screaming, booyah-inciting riot happening in the seats from the front of the stage to the Gods.

The only thing left was to shake that thang and wait for the hits to start pouring from the stage. Expectations were high and by song five, the still raucous after all these years Let's Go Crazy, they were not only met but exceeded and then some.

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If anyone was thinking that 30-odd years of FM radio high rotation had killed the fire of any of Prince's bigger hits they only had to hear the crowd roar along to 1999, Little Red Corvette or Raspberry Beret to realise that it takes a lot more than icy cold cans of anything to douse a flame that burns that strong. Even perennial wedding favourite (really? Read a lyric sheet people) Nothing Compares 2 U was pulled out and well and truly dusted off, Prince-style. It will never be listened to the same way again. Can't reach further back into the “look what else I wrote Mum” – file? How about Martika's (yeah, you heard) Love Thy Will Be Done.

But when he made his way side of stage to a synth and everything got deconstructed we were blessed to be witness to the full range of this singular man's genius. When Doves Cry was a revelation. Barely audible embellishments. Drum track to the fore. The whole crowd singing. It's moments like that, that make you realise why you love music in the first place. That and watching His Grooviness shake it to Kiss. The only thing missing there was a diagonal button fly on his tight black pants.

And the most redundant question any of the attendees will be asked over the next week will be “how was Prince?”