After Sharon Jones' opening set and after an interlude with the house lights up, Madison Square Garden again went dark, the house lights turned off, some small equipment lights glowing on stage and smoke drifting through those lights, the night about to really kick off. The arena was full of shrieking and yelling, everyone insanely excited about seeing this man come out on stage. His stage suddenly lit up, a ring of colored lights lining the perimeter of it, the stage in the shape of his symbol. A DJ started teasing the crowd, mixing small snippets of many of his songs, just enough for you to recognize it and scream your head off that you are about to see the man responsible for all these amazing hooks and riffs take the stage. The stage pulsated with the beats of the song, the lights choreographed amazingly with the music.
I was really stoned and sitting in the upper rafters with Jacob. The stage was a spaceship that had landed and was hovering there, the sightlines and energy that Madison Square Garden has are much better than at IZOD Center, where I saw him play a month ago for the first show of this tour. It seemed that they had really improved the staging and lighting for this show, or maybe it was just that I was high. The set list was also quite different than the IZOD Center show I had seen. I need to see this man play again. I want to go to his February show as well but really cannot try to buy tickets right now because I need to be saving money for my upcoming trip to LA. If I have money when I get back, I am definitely going to try to purchase myself more tickets to see this man. What he does to me is something really special. I love this man and his music so much. To see him dance and sing and play guitar is all I could ask for.
The legendary Maceo Parker guested with Prince on a couple of songs. After his first appearance on a song, doing amazing sax work, the crowd politely applauded, meaning barely applauded. You could see the disappointment in Prince's face. Rather than continuing with the song, he had to pause to put the audience in check, saying something along the lines, "Do you know who that was?" And a large number of people may not have known, but this is a man that has had such an important role in the history of funk and soul music that the crowd should have gone absolutely bananas. And I love that Prince understood that and told the audience what's what.
I was really hoping that Sharon Jones would do an amazing duet with him, and though she did guest on one of his encores, singing "A Love Bizarre," I wanted something else, something slower. But that's a minor quibble in what was otherwise an amazing two hour plus performance from Prince that included a gorgeous, gorgeous version of "Adore" that had me swooning. He played "She's Always in My Hair," one of my favorites, and he absolutely killed me with "If I Was Your Girlfriend," another one of my favorite Prince songs and which was sang so beautifully. I swooned, I danced, I saw one of my idols, and I want to do it again and again.