Prince fan Jesse Jenkins had an experience he’ll never forget last weekend, after Prince arranged for him to travel to Austin to see Prince’s now infamous SXSW closing concert, after which he got to meet and embrace his favourite artist.
Consistently re-affirming his status as music royalty, Prince captured the attention of the industry on Saturday night when he played a marathon concert at La Zona Rosa that finished up just after 3am.
But that’s nothing new for the Purple One, as he’s of course been capturing the hearts and minds of fans the world over for decades. One such fan is Jesse Jenkins, known online as ‘Jester’, who has a YouTube channel that he uses to review Prince albums and just share his love for his favourite artist with like-minded people.
Prince reached out to Jesse last Wednesday night through celebrity blogger Dr. Funkenberry and Spreecast host Seth Everett during a Prince webcast and chat by Prince fans that has become a weekly event since it kicked off at the start of the year. That particular chat also included an interview and impromptu performance by Prince’s former band member, André Cymone.
Despite being a dedicated fan, twenty year old Jesse had never had a chance to see Prince live. Living only a few hours’ drive from Austin, he was excited when news broke last week about Prince playing at SXSW, but with tickets to the conference being close to $1000, plus travel costs, with no guarantee of being one of the 1300 chosen to witness the concert, it was looking like it was going to be a case of so close, and yet so far, for the young Jester.
Having no expectations, Jenkins was content to let this opportunity go, confident that there would be another chance for him later in the year. His reaction when Dr. Funkenberry delivered the news that Prince and the elusive character, 3rd Eye Girl (thought to be Prince’s online alter-ego), were going to organise and pay for Jesse to get to Austin and see the concert, is priceless.
In fact, Prince went over and above his initial promise to Jesse.
At 3pm on Saturday, a car arrived to pick him up and take him the three hour drive to Austin, where he was put up in a top floor hotel suite. He managed to catch some of Andy Allo’s earlier concert, before heading to La Zona Rosa to watch Prince and the NPG deliver three hours of funk, all from the VIP section.
Having met some of the band before the concert, Prince’s manager invited Jesse to meet the man himself after the show. Keen to keep the details of the what was discussed private, Jenkins simply reported back that Prince embraced the self-titled Jester, who is fast capturing the hearts of purple fans all over the world.
He took a video that night, pacing around his hotel room, perfectly demonstrating the “purple high” experienced by so many Prince fans following a live performance. The following day he released another video that talks viewers through the entire whirlwind adventure.
Jesse will be joining Dr. Funkenberry and Seth for another Spreecast this week, when he will elaborate more on the events of the weekend, as well as taking questions from Prince fans who join the chat.
Check out his video from 4am Sunday morning…
…then a summary of the trip once he was home again.
The latest video that Prince has released is “An Extremely Short Film”, shot by Madison Dubé and featuring some very funky guitar playing by Prince, backed by his new, smaller band, 3rd Eye Girl. For all the new music from Prince in 2013, check out the 3rd Eye Girl website.
Stay updated with your free Noise11 daily music newsletter. Subscribe to Noise11 Music News here