It's 1 a.m. and I just got home from the Prince show at the Fox Theatre in Detroit. It was every bit as amazing as you think it would be. Easily the craziest show I've seen in my life.
Unless you've been living under a rock (or don't use the internet) you probably know that Prince played in Detroit last night at the Fox Theater. It was announced only five days ahead of time, as the second stop on the Purple One's "Hit And Run Tour." Tickets sold out pretty much immediately when they went on sale Monday, and many people were frustrated they weren't able to get any. It was an event — after all, it's Prince. And he hadn't played in Detroit since 2004. Only 5,000 people were able to attend, and it was clear that everyone felt lucky to be there.
Chaos surrounded the theatre the night of the show, as should probably have been expected due to the show's last minute nature. I heard someone who appeared to work for the Fox Theatre tell the hordes of people lined up to get inside that if they weren't inside by 8:25 p.m. that they wouldn't be able to get in. I don't know if that guy was just messing with people, but it certainly scared everyone. Because everyone knows that Prince can do whatever he wants.
The show started a good 45 minutes late, but no one seemed to mind. Folks were just relieved to have made it inside, and to have made it to their seats. Judith Hill, who recently dropped a Prince-produced album, played a very impressive opening set. The show had a strict no photos rule, and ushers could be seen booting folks who had their phones out. Anticipation was in the air.
A purple curtain dropped in front of the stage, and before we knew it, over the speakers came: "Don't worry, eye won't hurt u. Eye only want u 2 have some fun." followed by "Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate this thing called life..." and a couple other teaser intros as the curtain raised. Prince acknowledged he hadn't played Detroit in eleven years, and then led his band 3rdEyeGirl into a stripped down, laid back and keyboardless version of "Let's Go Crazy." The band features Canadian guitarist Donna Grantis, American drummer Hannah Welton and Danish bassist Ida Kristine Nielsen, and they are all great players. Backup singers and two keyboardists joined them for "Take Me With U" and "Raspberry Beret." Horns came out for "U Got the Look," and we were off.
They played for two and a half hours, which included about six encores. The set focused mostly on hits, but included songs from Prince's whole catalog as well as songs he wrote for other artists, and songs by Michael Jackson and Sly and the Family Stone. Some songs were just teased, and some were stretched out. There were lots of surprises! I didn't quite get the full set list but it included "Musicology," "When Doves Cry," "I Would Die 4 U," "Don't Stop til You Get Enough," "Cool" (written by Prince for the Time), "Thank You (Falettin Me Be Mice Elf Again)", "Play That Funky Music," "Controversy," "1999," "Little Red Corvette," "Nothing Compares 2 U," "Kiss" (featuring a snippet of the Time's "Jungle Love" in the middle), "She's Always In My Hair," "How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore?" "Purple Rain," "The Beautiful Ones," "Pop Life," "Alphabet St," and "The Love We Make." He even teased the intro of "Darling Nikki."