Prince Launches 21-Night Gig With Three-Hour Show
Few artists can play with a crowd’s emotions and keep them begging for more the way Prince did during the kick-off of his 21-night stand at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., on Thursday night (April 14). Introduced by comedian George Lopez, the ubiquitous “Purple One” emerged from center stage dressed in a white suit amid thousands of fans screaming his name as he stood waiting for more well-deserved adoration.
Launching into a bevy of fan favorites like ‘Pop Life,’ ‘Musicology’ and ‘Raspberry Beret,’ the 52-year-old stayed onstage for the better half of a 40-minute period before saying “good night” and descending back into the middle of the symbol-shaped stage. The fake-out would be one of several encores from Prince, in which he said goodbye only to re-emerge in a new outfit, each more elaborate than the last.
His decision to perform at the struggling venue in a city, approximately 10 miles south of Los Angeles, was intentional, as the area, once visited by the likes of Madonna, Janet Jackson and the Bee Gees, has since been abandoned by the music industry. He discussed the importance of supporting the historical location and hinted at possibly extending his stay, telling the audience that he and his band, the New Power Generation, would continue to show up “as long as you will have us.”
Among the show’s highlights included a rendition of ‘Purple Rain,’ complete with purple confetti falling from the ceiling, a performance of Michael Jackson‘s ‘Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough’ and a quick break into Beyonce‘s ‘Single Ladies,’ for the “young people” in the crowd. Although his set was null of an opening act, Prince gave his back-up singers time to shine while he changed into his next outfit, and pulled over 30 people on stage to dance him into ‘Housequake,’ before introducing Sheila E. The legendary percussionist joined the band for several rounds of performances before closing out the show with Prince well after midnight.
Prince will be at the Forum through the weekend, before returning for another round of shows Thursday, April 21.