Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

At the end of August 2007 I was fortunate enough, and I choose my words carefully, to be graced by the presence of true genius.

For you see – as I took my seat in the O2 Arena London, gazing around in barely contained excitement, I knew, just knew, that the night would prove to be an experience that would reverberate for the rest of my life.

The Artist – formerly known as Prince, had reclaimed his regal moniker and was about to stamp his artistic and funk inspired authority on the capital. Stamping it indelibly and in a fashion that would ensure that his end of show statement, that he did not care who else came to London – because the O2 Arena was now his house – would prove to be indisputable.

The performance that night was one of 21 nights that Prince would pack out the O2 Arena. It was one of the most sensational, the most awe inspiringly emotional and insatiable live performances of this or any other generation. When the house lights fell and the tension in the air became almost palpable – the anticipation of the crowd, and it was a crowd that numbered 20’000, reached fever pitch.

“You ain’t ready for me London” – “This is real music, not what you’re used to!”

Prince had arrived on stage!

The set that he played and strutted his way through that night took you back, way back, to when music was music. When artists were multi-talented performers, entertainers, vocalists of unimaginable talent – and it made me long, it made me hunger – it made me want more. Prince duly delivered, with verve, killer vocals and a swaggered panache that proved what true talent is all about.

The crowd were energetic that night – enthusiastic, appreciative and totally seduced by the performance of one of the most prolific and talented song-writers the world will ever know.

And then the night was over – over too soon. We waited. We cheered. We stamped our feet and called out his name – hoping we could coax one more song, one more moment from him. He had already stated we would all miss the last train home if we did not leave – but he was in his element, toying with us – tantalising us with just a few chords on his guitar.

The double-encore at the end of the night demonstrated just how much Prince was enjoying the occasion as much as, if not more than those gathered in his presence. His challenge to the crowd – not to play with him, as he had too many hits – just reinforced his status as a living legend. And when it came – when he appeased us, he allowed us one more moment of ecstasy – Purple Rain.

For those who were there that night – Prince proved once and for all that he was, and always would be, the Crown Prince of Rock, Pop, Funk, Jazz, R&B and Soul. The pretenders to his thrones, and he has many, were duly put in their place. Resoundingly educated on just how far they had to climb to even hang on to the coat-tails of a man that stands no taller than 5’2″.

The aftershocks of that night can still be felt to this day. Because – no matter how hard they may try, the engineered and over produced ‘idols’ of this generation – ultimately come up short, every single time.

And they will always fail to measure up to the true talents that we have lost along the way: Michael Jackson; Luther Vandross; Marvin Gaye and James Brown – consummate and irrepressible performers who have gone too soon.