Prince and the NPG
Thursday 10th October 2002
The Point Theatre

prince npg

Yawn. I was sitting in work. Dr. J rang and said he could get tickets to see Prince and the NPG that very night (courtesy of pater Dr. J - Agent N). But they were face value tickets weighing in at a heavy seventy euro each. We discussed it, considered how I'm not really a big Prince fan, but weighed this against Dr. J's testimony that Prince would be very capable of impressing us. In the end I decided in favour of the gig.

Work ended, we met in town and had Burger King (nice/evil, but not really chicken). Then we headed back to Dr. J's to drive over to the Point. We got stuck in traffic, but at least the radio started playing a good documentary on "Pet Sounds". We arrived late, but with one fence jump and a security bypass it still felt like somehow time had been cheated.

Prince was already on stage. Since we didn't know what we’d missed it seemed like we’d missed nothing. Our seats were fairly hot - upstairs side front row, about one section back. A lot of people put a lot more effort into getting much crappier seats.

And so to generals. Reports I heard post gig second hand said that some folk were disappointed Prince didn't play more of his "hits". Since it was these very "hits" that I had failed to appreciate first time around, this was probably the very thing that allowed me to enjoy the show as much as I did. I wasn't watching the musician I'd seen on MTV, I was watching a different guy with a screw hot band giving us lessons in "Funk 101". Yup - the band were nutso. Two phenomenal saxophonists, a smooth drummer (who performed the most impressive drum solo I've seen - combing his shaved head via mirror whilst continuing on the double kicks), a swish lady bassist in a cutting suit, keys, trombone, and the man himself on both guitar and electric pianos. It was very good music, played very, very, very well.

Prince was also funny, which I hadn't anticipated. Jokes ranged from the aforementioned re-education of the audience using "Funk 101" (followed by "Rock 'n' Roll 101"), to taking the piss out of the people seated upstairs (ie, us). There was also crowd interaction - getting a guy up on stage to dance and enjoy the show, and then about twenty more people at the end of the night. Yeah, there were lots of little bits of things that I'm too lazy to type. He did a damned god job.

Anyhoo, we had multiple mini continuous encores (actually just one main encore broken by Prince stating that he "couldn't leave it like that"). I saw a few folks leave straight after the first "end" - they were clearly beavers. Anyone with taste could tell that this was an excellent show.

But it ended, though not before Prince made some decent "equality/love" statements, which were then followed by some (imho) not-so-hot "God" statements. House lights appeared, and we looked around to depart. Departure was slow, but yielded the most attractive lady of many a concert. Black silk dress and a yellow rose in her hair - face set to "interesting beautiful" as opposed to the other kind. We broke out the door, jumped our fence once more, collected the car from the nixered crushing yard where we'd left it.

A good night all round, particularly for a Thursday.

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