posted on July 31, 2011 15:06
His Royal Purpleness fulfils his appointment in Dublin, at the second time of asking, and makes it up to those disappointed fans first time round, with a show packed with classic hit after hit.
The Cluas Verdict:9 out of 10
Easily the most eagerly awaited gig in Ireland this year, Prince was determined to make it up to the Irish fans on Saturday night, and he did so, in front of almost 30,000 fans at Malahide castle.
Wearing a creamed coloured poncho he walked on stage and started taking photographs of the crowd before opening with ‘Gold’. “I’m sorry it took so long to come to you” he said as an apology before immediately kicking in a storming collection of ‘80s classics.
‘Let’s Go Crazy’, ‘Delirious’, ‘1999’, ‘Little Red Corvette’ and ‘Take Me With U’ followed in quick succession and there was no doubt that he was determined to make this his greatest Irish performance ever.
For ‘Raspberry Beret’, one of his female guitarists proceeded to sketch a picture of a beret on a drawing board, and ‘Cream’ brought us into the 90’s for a few minutes.
A couple of covers followed, with ‘Don’t Stop Til You get Enough’, and The Time’s ‘C.O.O.L.’ before Prince took a much needed rest and disappeared for a change of clothes while Shelby J, and two other group members gave us their version of ‘To Make You Feel My Love’.
Prince returned, all dressed in black and gave us ‘Purple Rain’ (complete with purple confetti sprayed into the crowd), and his timing was impeccable as the rain started to fall slowly. ‘If I Was Your Girlfriend’ was next, and for ‘Kiss’ he sang ...”you don’t have to watch Big Brother” (Dynasty being outdated).
His support act, the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble were brought back on with all their Trumpets and French Horns for ‘Musicology’, ‘The Bird’ and ‘Jungle Love’ and he invited several members of the pubic up on stage for ‘Love Rollercoaster’ and ‘Play That Funky Music’.
One girl even managed to give him a kiss, while Prince offered his guitar to play, to another unexpected fan on stage. He certainly looked chilled and I’ve never seen him smile so many times during one concert.
It looked like the concert was over but he appeared back on stage for the beautiful ballads ‘Sometimes It Snows In April’, and ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’, the latter he dedicated with “love and respect to Miss Sinead O Connor’.
He sat at his purple Piano for ‘Sign of The Times’, and mixed it with ‘Alphabet Street’ and the intro to ‘When Doves Cry’. He stopped abruptly and said “I’ve too many hits. We’d be here till tomorrow if I play them all” which provoked unanimous cheering.
He played ‘When Doves Cry’ through this time, along with ‘Hot Thing’, Sheila E’s ‘A Love Bizarre’, and ‘Controversy’.
As he reappeared for what was his third and final encore he commented “you’re a gluten for punishment. Let’s go back to 1982” he added. He finished the set with ‘Let’s Work’, and ‘U Got the Look’ and again thanked the fans.
I’ve seen Prince four times in Concert, and this was by far the best. Smiles and apologies are things you don’t normally see or hear from him, and while he’s now 53 he certainly seems to have mellowed quiet considerably. An outstanding performance on Saturday night by the little purple fella.