I think it has just started to sink in that this is real. Prince died two days ago. To type those words is weird. I feel like I said a bad word or something. What I have been doing in his honor though is posting videos on Facebook of Prince’s live performances from the 70’s through last week. Watching him on stage reminded me of the once in a lifetime experience I had of seeing him live and in the flesh.
It was July of 1986 when the Parade/Under the Cherry Moon concert came to Denver, I was 12 years old. I begged my dad to take me to the concert. I had to see Prince or I would die, just like any other little girl who couldn’t go without something she treasured. My dad on the other hand was not thrilled, he had no interest in going at all, but after my ferocious pursuit for tickets and a chaperon, he gave in. During the entire drive to McNichols Arena my dad complained about not really wanting to go through with this, how he was really not all that much of Prince fan. I remember debating him on how he should be one, (I guess I’ve been arguing points my whole life. lol), I stood on the fact that Prince was the greatest artist to live. I loved Michael too, but Prince to me was an act of being grown up. I was excited about this concert and I had reason to be.
Miracle #1. We sat in our seats for all of 2 minutes. We were up and out of them for the remainder of the two hours of the show, cheering, clapping, singing as if we were witnessing something genius, and we were. Prince Rogers Nelson got on that stage and performed at 10 from beginning to close. He danced and sung non-stop, actually I take that back, he stopped singing and dancing only long enough to play every instrument on the stage. The piano, the drums, the synthesizer, the bongos, and of course the guitar were all played with highest precision. From Pop, to R&B, to Rock, he performed every genre of music masterfully. We were exhausted leaving the arena, on the other hand Prince seemed unphased by all he’d just put out.
Miracle number 2. That ride back home was a very different one than the ride to the concert. My dad couldn’t stop talking about how bad Prince was. He went on and on about how Prince had gone from one instrument to the next, how he didn’t realize how many hits Prince had, how Prince never stopped moving once he hit the stage, how this was the very best concert he’d seen in all his life. This being only my second concert I’d attended in my young life, one could say I didn’t have much to compare it to, but my father’s perspective was much greater than mine at that time. We both left there that day knowing we’d just experienced greatness, and we had. I had more reason to believe Prince was the greatest, my dad had new reason to be a lifelong fan.
So I guess that’s the mark that royalty leaves. You never forget when you’ve witnessed genius, you feel blessed to have been in it’s presence. Prince was an agglomerate of talent, he was a contortionist of art, he was an artist’s favorite artist. To see him live was something that is beyond description. And it’s only now that I wish I’d encouraged more people to see him in person. He lived up to his name. There will never be another like him. Prince.