Prince is equal parts Elvis Presley and James Brown. He is part Michael Jackson but Jackson needed a producer and didn’t play an instrument. Prince is also Jimi Hendrix. He is all of the above.
Prince is unique. Rarely have we ever seen that ability to write, producer, record, perform and entertain in one person. Prince is the complete deal. All the attributes of the greatest stars on Earth all rolled into one 158cm body. (Hey, at one point last night he even referred to himself as “the little guy with all the hits”).
Onto Welcome2Australia, Prince’s 4th tour down under, a show so unique each night that at one point even Prince had to think what to do next. “We could do ‘Diamonds and Pearls’, he said looking at his band. No, too slow” then nixed it for “If I Was Your Girlfriend.”
This was the first Melbourne show on the Welcome2Australia tour and the setlist had similarities to his first Sydney show but it was not the same.
It is pleasing to see ‘1999’ return to his set. Prince played it last week on May 11 in Sydney and the only other time it has been performed live in Australia was back in 1992 on his first Aussie tour, also in Sydney. ‘Sometimes It Snows In April’ is also new for Australia. Prince added the ‘Parade’ song it to his set in 2004, after his last Australian tour in 2003.
‘I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man’ was incredible. Prince reinvented the ‘Sign O The Times’ stand-out track as a slow, bluesy number.
Prince also got into Aussie mode. Watching him chant ‘Aussie Aussie Aussie’ and the audience responding “Oi Oi Oi’ was one of those “only in Australia” moments. It was truly bizarre.
Because of the sheer number of hits to get through Prince covered his ground with a melody of ‘When Doves Cry’, ‘Nasty Girl’, ‘Darling Nikki’, ‘Pop Life’, ‘Sign O’ The Times’, ‘The Most Beautiful Girl In The World’ and … ‘Single Ladies’. “I didn’t write that,” he smirked.
However, he did write ‘Love … Thy Will Be Done’ for Martika back in the early 90s. She had a global hit with it and now he is reclaiming it as his own. As of last night, Prince has only performed the Martika song seven times but it looks like it is going to become part of his set moving forward.
Prince was going to perform one of his famous after-show shows last night at Club 23 at Crown Casino in Melbourne but the show was cancelled for who knows what reason after 8pm. He may do an after show tonight but unlike the 24 hour notice Sydney was given, Melbourne is left hanging on standby.
Setlist for Melbourne, May 14, 2012:
(Purple Rain instrumental)
Gold (from The Gold Experience, 1995)
Jam Of The Year (from Emancipation, 1996)
Let’s Go Crazy (from Purple Rain, 1984)
Delirious (from 1999, 1982)
1999 (from 1999, 1982)
Little Red Corvette (from 1999, 1982)
Shelby J song
I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man (from Sign O The Times, 1987)
Take Me With U (from Purple Rain, 1984)
Raspberry Beret (from Around The World In A Day, 1985)
Cream (from Diamonds and Pearls, 1991)
Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough/Cool (Michael Jackson/The Time)
Sometimes It Snows In April (from Parade, 1986)
Love Thy Will Be Done (Martika hit 1992)
Mountains (from Parade, 1986)
When Doves Cry (from Purple Rain, 1984)
Nasty Girl (Vanity 6)
Darling Nikki (from Purple Rain, 1984)
Pop Life (from Around The World In A Day, 1985)
Sign O The Times (from Sign O The Times, 1987)
The Most Beautiful Girl (from The Gold Experience, 1995)
Single Ladies (Beyonce cover)
Hot Thing (from Sign O The Times, 1987)
I Would Die 4 U (from Purple Rain, 1984)
Kiss (from Parade, 1986)
Purple Rain (from Purple Rain, 1984)
If I Was Your Girlfriend (from Sign O The Times, 1987)
She’s Always In My Hair (b-side of Paisley Park)
Dreamer (from LOtUSFLOW3R, 2009)
Peach (from The Hits2, 1993)
Prince will perform again tonight at Rod Laver Arena Melbourne
Remaining tour dates are:
May 15, Melbourne, Rod Laver Arena
May 18 , Brisbane, Entertainment Centre
May 22, Sydney, Allphones Arena
May 26, Brisbane, Entertainment Centre
May 30, Melbourne, Rod Laver Arena