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May 10, 2011

A Purple Party: Prince performs at the Great Western Forum

Who doesn't love Prince, the artist, the symbol, or whatever he's making us call him for the moment?  Fact is, he is an irreplaceable figure in the pantheon of R&B, Pop, Soul and Rock music....period!  Prince is clearly an undeniable icon and legend known not just for his music, but his persona and fashion sense *side eye at the booty cut out pants*.  So naturally, when I heard he would be performing at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood for 21 dates, to say I was elated would be an understatement.

I have friends who have attended his concerts in the recent past and their biggest complaints were that he did not perform the music that made him who he is.  Classics like Purple Rain, Little Red Corvette, 1999, etc. were left out, I'm assuming because at that time he was in a bitter war with Columbia Records over the rights to said music.  This bit of information had me a little weary concerning the performance, but I had heard so many great things from friends whom had already attended that I wasn't too worried.

I was given a set of rules to follow from previous attendees, which consisted of:

1. Eat before you go.
2. Do NOT arrive on time.  Prince will not hit the stage until approximately 9 pm, even though tickets said the show starts at 7:30p
3. BYOB, if possible.
4. Parking could be a nightmare ao make plans accordingingly.
5. Do not leave after his performance; stay for the encore.

Needless to say, I followed the directions and everything went smoothly.  Prince features a special guest every night he performs that have included the likes of Gwen Stefani, Chaka Khan, Sheila E., Mint Condition and Alicia Keys just to name a few.  Chaka was the special guest of the night and she literally tore the house down.  She sounded and looked amazing and truly gave her all to the performance.  She performed hits like I Feel For You, Through The Wire, Aint Nobody, and Stay.  She is truly one of the original R&B divas who paved the way for female artists like Mary J. Blige, Faith Evans, and Brandy and I was so happy to finally see her perform.

During her set she brought Whitney Houston on stage to sing *side eye*.  Whitney's voice is completely gone.  The crowd exploded once Whitney got on stage, but after she started singing, I think everyone was happy to see her go shortly thereafter.

The sound quality was dynamic and Prince's band was amazing.  The entire Great Western Forum partied the entire time and the energy was electric.  Prince performed songs like Little Red Corvette, 1999, When Doves Cry, I Would Die For You, Cream, Diamonds and Pearls and much more.  He still looks good and moves like he did on Purple Rain.

Ultimately, Prince is trying to raise the profile of the Great Western Forum which has seen a lack of top concerts and performances at the venue in recent years.  I believe this is a great way to bring back the legacy of this great venue that is a huge part of the fabric and history of Inglewood/Los Angeles County.

If you still have yet to see Prince in all of his purple majesty, don't worry, there is still time.  There are still concert dates that are forthcoming so be sure to get your tickets which start at $25 a pop.  Prince performs a different set each night so there is always something new to experience.  Make sure to follow the directions set above for an enjoyable time and last but not least, PARTY LIKE ITS 1999!

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