“During ‘Purple Rain’ a thin, white balloon emerged near the stage, and it appeared as if Prince was performing inside a condom.” – Dave Hoekstra, Chicago Sun-Times (in this article)
I guess the human brain will interpret things in many different ways, but did any of you think the white silhouette sheet flapping in front of Prince resembled a condom? Me neither. But that didn’t mean the silhouette episode wasn’t without it’s naughty moments. During that 30 seconds of sheet flappage, we were treated to the signature gee-tar strokin’ we haven’t seen since the closing moments of Purple Rain (the movie), where at the end of “Baby, I’m a Star” he jumped up on one of his giant speakers, grabbed his Telecaster, and stroked away until the crowd was showered in purple funk. Okay, that was disgusting. Sorry. But you remember that, right? Nasty Prince was back on display last night, if only for a brief moment.
Overall, I really enjoyed the performance. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but given all of the factors working against him, he overcame them all and delivered a top notch performance. A great showman like Prince can overcome these things.
- Obviously, the weather played a factor. Performing live in a stadium setting in the driving rain can’t be the easiest gig in the world. Did the rain and moisture do something to the guitar tunings? Maybe. A few of the solos seemed like they were just an inch away from what Prince intended, and that may have something to do with the rain, who knows.
- The overall mix wasn’t very impressive. There were some moments when the guitar was a little overpowering in the mix. It would have been cool to hear the Florida A&M marching band featured more prominently. It sounded really cool from what I could barely hear. All that time and effort put into rehearsals and the end result is you could barely hear them. But a really cool part that I could hear was the 1999 intro before “Baby, I’m a Star”, as the marching band approached the stage from either side. And again, what I could hear of them during “Purple Rain” sounded great.
- The intro into “Let’s Go Crazy” was a little disjointed, but as soon as the band picked it up with “If you don’t like, the world you’re living in”, it whipped right into shape.
- The do-rag was interesting. I wonder if that was a last minute decision because of the rain? It wasn’t working for him, and he took it off during “Purple Rain.” The do-rag always reminds me of a scene from Under the Cherry Moon (wasn’t he vacuuming or something?).
- As for wardrobe, it didn’t hit me until someone at work mentioned it today, that his color scheme, teal and orange, are the colors of the Miami Dolphins, and there he was in Dolphin Stadium. Coincidence??
- This would have been the perfect opportunity for a short James Brown tribute. It certainly could have replaced “Proud Mary”. Can you imagine if Prince hit us with “Sex Machine” or even “I Feel Good”? That would have brought the performance to a whole ‘nother level. I mean, who else on God’s green earth is more qualified and gets the automatic stamp of approval to pay tribute to James Brown?? Nobody. Prince missed a golden opportunity there.
- And let’s talk for a second about seizing another golden opportunity. It doesn’t take a marketing genius to figure out that his “Best of You” cover was going to create some serious buzz and overwhelming demand. I have had hundreds upon hundreds of Googlers hitting my site over the last 24 hours searching for “prince best of you”. Why oh why didn’t Prince make the song available for download immediately after the Super Bowl? You gotta strike while the iron is hot, man. Come on Prince! Seize this Golden Opportunity my man!!
Those are my only semi-gripes. But at the end of the day, it was an amazing performance on the world’s biggest stage. Well done, purple – er – teal one!
Buy Prince’s new single, “Guitar”, on his official site: