Prince @ The Save Mart Center, Fresno CA 05/18/11

Like someone else had written, there was only one way to describe the set that Prince performed for Fresno: ALL KILLER. NO FILLER. There were no obscure songs, deep cuts or new material, only one hit after another. And no chance for a breather as one classic Prince track after another flew by with intensity, power, and extreme funkiness. The band barely paused between songs, with almost every track segueing into another seamlessly. I’m not exactly a fan, but even a casual listener couldn’t help but feel the magic, the heat, the fun and the funk. I’m now a Prince convert

Prince and his backing band played for 100 minutes, a generous set by normal standards but short compared to the big city gigs like Los Angeles and New York City. Some of those shows were close to 3 hours long! Diehard fans might complain that Prince played an oldies show to throwback fans in Fresno, which wasn’t the case at all, but I prefer that kind of show because it was riveting and relentless. There was not a single lull or downer moment that night. And the man can still dance and sing like it was the Purple Rain tour and he’s in his 50s! The set was heavy with 80s material, even going back to early albums like Controversy, Purple Rain and 1999. There were also a few cover songs and even a couple of the collaboration songs like U Got the Look and Nasty Girl.

Prince’s band was unbelievably tight and explosively entertaining. I still can’t get over how easily one song gelled into another, especially the first 6 or 7 numbers. His backing vocalists were riveting and the rhythm section played tasty grooves. John Blackwell has been Prince’s drummer for a number of years and is a former member of Cameo. I had the pleasure of meeting him in 2004 at the NAMM convention and it was a treat to see how down to earth he is. He was polite, accommodating, and didn’t mind having a conversation with some guy from the Central Valley. Now if I can only figure out how he does those cool stick twirls…

MAIN SET:

1999
Little Red Corvette
The Beautiful Ones
Take Me With U
Rasberry Beret
Cream
Cool (The Time)
Let’s Work
U Got the Look
Make You Feel My Love (Bob Dylan)
Purple Rain
Let’s Go Crazy/Delirious

ENCORES:
I. Kiss

II. Sampler Medley:
When Doves Cry
Nasty Girl
Sign O’ The Times
Most Beautiful Girl in the World
Darling Nikki
I Would Die 4 U

III.
If I Was Your Girlfriend
Play that Funky Music (Wild Cherry)
Controversy/House Quake

I’m still in awe. Prince was incredible and I feel lucky to have seen one of the greats perform live. I have a new appreciation for him, I will never put him down or challenge him to a game of basketball

Greatest “wow” moment: the slow and sexy version of Little Red Corvette. It can melt you like butter.

a close-up of the video screen, 05/18/11

a view of the stage from our section

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Posted on October 1, 2012, in Concerts: 2005-2011, Prince and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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