Prince Rapture:  Written by Alex Sandell

Part 9:  Purple Encore, Leaves Us Wanting More, Tomorrow I'm Gonna Be Sore:

The shiny chandelier looking thing (that I should have previously described in this article -- but I expected some pictures from fellow Prince fans, which I didn't get) moved from ceiling to floor, where it suddenly looked like a pricey shower curtain.  Purple smoke covered the stage.  I cleverly said to my Prince mate, "oh, I wonder what song's coming next."  Again, I would be surprised...

The New Power Generation took the stage, after I stated the obvious.  Next, Prince emerged, in silhouette form -- hidden behind the fancy shower curtain/chandelier thingie.  I became so convinced that he was going to sing Purple Rain, I tapped my friend's shoulder and said, "oh, I wonder what song's coming next."  She responded with, "you already said that... word for word."  I didn't sweat it, knowing I would be right. 

Of course I was wrong.  The unmistakable keyboards started for The Beautiful Ones.  The song remained close to the original; the nostalgia factor hit me hard when Prince got into the "the beautiful ones smash the picture, always, every time" lyrics.  I used to scratch that line into my notebook, whenever I would see one of my first crush's with her very first boyfriend, back in elementary school.  Tipper Gore be damned... every kid needs a little Prince! 

The audience joined me in my nostalgic world when Prince did that thing he used to always do (along with Hendrix), where he bends his knees, and leans over backwards, on the floor, during the guitar solo.  What a cheer he received for permanently damaging his back!  Who knew so many people were waiting to see Prince lie down?

Prince moved into a powerful rendition of Nothing Compares 2 U.  I never would have expected to hear this during the encore (or even the concert).  Prince wrote the song, but Sinead made it famous.  This was another highlight of the show for me.  Entirely unexpected, and this song is just so damn heartbreaking. 

Next came Purple Rain.  The audience yelled so loud, when Prince played a few opening chords, any hearing I had left was gone.  The crowd became entranced by the song.  Everyone -- even those not yet alive at the time -- had quickly moved into their own private 1984. 

By the time Purple Rain went to the "woo-hoo-hoo-hoo" section of the song, it was performed so well by the Minnesota crowd, it was hard to believe it wasn't a backing track by the artist, himself. 

When the song ended, the lead singer and band left the stage... for the last time.  After hearing our impassioned vocalizations, Prince knew, as did we, that he had taught us well.

All 20,000 of us left the auditorium with a major in fun and a minor in Musicology.

The End

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