Prince: Piano & a Microphone @ Theatre Maisonneuve Montreal 10 PM – March 21st 2016

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So I thought to myself: When will I ever get another chance to see Prince at a small intimate venue? As Thursday noon rolled around, I sat by my computer, credit card in hand and searched for my tickets. Bingo! I got two balcony tickets, they don’t seem too bad. I go through all the hoops…and the site times out, kicks me off. Nice! The second time, I get ground floor. Booked!

On the stage sat a single piano, candelabras at each end of the stage and a large screen that played a kaleidoscope of visuals throughout the night.

Prince was introduced by the sounds of Yo-Yo Ma playing Memoirs of a Geisha…the full song. A silhouette appears behind the screen, a cool pose of an afro sporting man with a walking stick. A section of the screen lifts and the legendary Prince struts fully around before taking a seat.

With 39 albums to choose from, we were treated to a selection of songs performed only by Prince and his piano. Although he goes by the name Prince, he really is the King of Soul, leaving the title Godfather of Soul where it rightly belongs.

Soul was heard through his vocal prowess, seen in his movements and felt through the notes of the piano. At 58, he can still move with finesse and the music simply flows out of him in such a natural way, such as water coming down from a waterfall.

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Some songs were soft and heartfelt, while others got us on our feet clapping and swaying to the songs we have grown to love over the last few decades.

Prince shared stories of how he was inspired to learn the piano from his father, but only his father was allowed to play the piano in their house. Once he left, Prince wasted no time getting up to speed with those keys.

Having only a piano accompanying Prince, his vocal talent was highlighted as he used the whole spectrum of his voice.

Prince ended the night with a shortened version of “Purple Rain” which reminded me of that awkward slow dance at all the parties back in the 80s. We were left wanting more, from this fairly short show which started a little late and ended by Midnight.

As we left the building, we were given a Prince CD to take home and enjoy. I’ve seen quite a few shows this year, but many of my friends will be purple with envy that they didn’t get to witness a fantastic artist doing what he does best, entertain any room he is in.

Setlist:
Joy in Repetition
Big City
U Got the Look
I Feel for You
Do Me, Baby
I Wanna Be Your Lover
Controversy
I Would Die 4 U / Baby, I’m a Star
Encore:
The Ballad of Dorothy Parker
Raspberry Beret
Starfish And Coffee
Waiting in Vain / If I Was Your Girlfriend
How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore
Kiss
Encore 2:
Free Urself
Cream
Take Me With U
Black Sweat
Encore 3:
Nothing Compares 2 U
Encore 4:
When Doves Cry
Hot Thing
Sign “☮” the Times
Purple Rain

Review – Randal Wark

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