I'd never been to a rock concert before tonight. The closest I've come is a tie amongst Rubén Blades, Wynton Marsalis, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, that African pop star whose name I can't remember, and the Oak Ridge Boys.
Hap posted a bunch of signs around the Pulmonary Center on Wednesday stating that he was trying to get rid of tickets to that night's Prince concert. I immediately thought of Keya. She idolizes Prince the way I adore John Denver, perhaps even more extremely.
When she didn't answer her cellphone, I tried her home number. Dan answered, and I told him why I was looking for Keya. "She already has tickets for tomorrow night," he told me, "and she's trying to get rid of one of them." I should have figured she'd have tickets already.
I did eventually get hold of Keya. She asked if I wanted to go. I did, but I cannot afford rock concert tickets. I told her that if she was unable to find anyone to buy her extra ticket, I'd be happy to go, but that I couldn't pay her. I found out that a friend of mine was interested and I gave her his number. Nonetheless, I received a call from her on my way back from Carole's house. She wanted to know if I was still interested in going. Hell, yeah! Turns out she never called my friend: she decided she'd have more fun going with me than selling the ticket to someone else.
I have to admit I was nervous. I mean, what does someone wear to a Prince concert? Does one dress nicely? Does one go for an '80s retro look? Is casual the key? And what if he doesn't play his hits? What if he plays a bunch of new or obscure stuff I don't know, and I get bored? And the crap opening act did nothing to alleviate my concerns.
From the moment the lights went down for Prince's entrance until they came back up at the end, though, I had a rocking good time!
What was my overall impression of my first rock concert?
The next time I go to a rock concert, I'm wearing earphones. I'll still be able to hear, but the sound will be at a comfortable level.
The stage was interesting. It was set up in the middle of the Fleet Center floor. There was a raised, cross-shaped walkway, like five-foot-wide x- and y-axes. Each quadrant was a slightly lower level. One quadrant contained the drum set, another the keyboards, a third is where the other performers usually jammed when not on the walkway, and the fourth contained a coffee table and several lounge chairs and cushions. The intersection of x and y was actually an elevating platform from which Prince made his entrances and exits.
The concert was comprised of three parts and an interlude. The first part was rocking and loud. Prince sang a lot of his old standards, including almost everything from the movie Purple Rain. Then he left the stage for a costume change, and during this interlude the saxophonist sang a tribute to Ray Charles. The musicians left the stage and Prince emerged on a stool with an acoustic guitar. He played acoustic versions of several of his own hits, such as "Little Red Corvette" and "Raspberry Beret," and a cover of "Satisfaction" (which I think he sings far better than Jagger, but then I've never much cared for the Stones). Finally, the musicians rejoined him on stage for a long stretch of danceable, funky music, including "Kiss" and a cover of "Soul Man." When he was done, everyone left the stage, but the audience roared and clapped and stomped and screamed...for a good five minutes. Suddenly the stage began glowing in a soft purple light. Was Prince going to give us an encore? But nothing more happened for another couple of minutes. Then we noticed the elevating platform descend. It came back up carrying the star of the show. The stage lights came back up to reveal the musicians already in place. Prince ended the concert with a rousing rendition of "Purple Rain."
My first ever rock concert was a fantastic experience! Thank you, Keya (it was her fourth Prince concert), for inviting me. :)