Prince – The Official Tribute at the Xcel

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The dancing was there, damn near every instrument was played, the outfits were on point- even the fans ranged from purple pajamas to prince impersonators. How could you go wrong? People filed into the Xcel with security pretty tight, hearing locals Mint Condition playing in the background. Morris Day and the time really got the ball rolling, with Morris Day coming out in a mustard yellow suit with the purple his band mates were wearing, accenting in the background. The band was very up beat obviously and the crowd was having a blast. Bobby Z took the stage after giving us a little introduction about how he met prince back in 1977, and how he was so impressed with his musical talent. Here’s where it goes wrong, Bobby Z just kept talking, going off on a tangent, and after hearing Morris Day and the time- I wanted to hear more music! But in all seriousness he did a good job reminding us why we were all gathered there that evening. Bobby Z introduced New Power Generation
(NPG) as they were guided by band leader and music director Morris Hayes. It was now the ladies turn- we heard beautiful singing from NPG band members Shelby j, Liz Warfield and Marva King. Marva’s dancing was phenomenal, and the acoustics were great in regards to the female vocalists. Kip blackshire did his thing. Then Tyka Nelson came out and serenaded the crowd by singing an a capella about prince, which was heartfelt with her being Prince’s sister and all. She introduced Nicole Scherzinger who is former lead singer of the pussycat dolls. Looking beautiful in her shiny silver blazer with shiny silver bell bottom pants. Luke James taking the stage resembling Chance the Rapper to an extent, wearing a Chicago White Sox hat and wearing a cool 90s shirt you would see Will Smith rock in the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Luke went on to show some of the most impressive range in vocals at this point in the night, especially for a male artist. Giving the crowd goosebumps as he sang “Do Me, Baby”. Judith hill was up next, damn near broke down in tears at the start of her set, speaking on how much she missed Prince.
Before she became the first person of the night to play the piano, she started screaming “don’t die! Don’t die!” Which allowed us to really feel her pain and sorrow for the loss of a man we all love and miss. Ana Moura came out on stage looking sexy in an outfit that was kind of like Nicole’s except covered in sparkling purple, not silver. Singing in Portuguese, showing us music has no boundaries, even if we had to read along with subtitles on the jumbotron. She did end by doing a cover of “Little Red Corvette”. Needing no introduction, Chaka Khan took the stage. Having an incredible singing voice, it was as if you could feel the pain and grievance in her performance, you could feel the energy in the arena at this point. As if things couldn’t get any better, out walks Stevie Wonder. He started jamming out on the harmonica as Chaka Khan was right by his side singing, it sure was a joy to see. Stevie and Chaka ended by doing a cover of “1999”. There was an intermission and the music started back up at around 10:15ish.

3RDEYEGIRL’s Donna Grantis and Ida Nielson picked things back up then Bilal followed by a sword dance from Mayte Garcia. It was cool to see her dance while balancing a sword on her head while spinning around. To continue to keep things funky, NPG played “Sexy MF” and “Get Off”. By the time Tori Kelly and Jessie J started singing, there were a some empty seats (It was getting close to midnight) but that didn’t phase them, they were here to celebrate the life of Prince. Finally Stevie Wonder came back out on stage doing a duet with Tori Kelly, “Take Me With You”. Stevie then sat at his piano alone, getting intimate with the crowd; speaking on how much he loves and misses Prince. Towards the end of Stevie’s set people were congregating around the stage as him, Marva King and NPG played the encore, “Purple Rain” except this time- with Prince’s actual vocals, not a cover. It was great to hear the legends voice resonate throughout an arena like that one last time.

Set List:

Mint Condition
“America”
“D.M.S.R.”
“When Doves Cry”

Morris Day and the Time
The Bird”
“Jungle Love”

Bobby Z, spoken tribute
“Uptown” (André Cymone)
“Erotic City” (Shelby J.)
“Hot Thing” (Liv Warfield)
“Kiss” (Marva King)
“Anotherloverholeinyohead” (Kip Blackshire)
“For You” (Tyka Nelson)

Nicole Scherzinger
Nasty Girl”
“Baby, I’m a Star”

Luke James
Do Me, Baby”
“The Most Beautiful Girl in the World”

Judith Hill
The Cross”
“How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore”

“The Ladder” (André Cymone)
“Cream” (Elisa Fiorillo Dease)
“Ballad of Dorothy Parker” (André Cymone)

Doug E. Fresh
Pop Life” (with André Cymone)
“Housequake”

Ana Maura
Walk in Sand”
“Little Red Corvette”

Chaka Khan
Betcha”
“Sweet Thing”
“I Feel For You” (with Stevie Wonder)
“1999” (with Stevie Wonder)

3rdeyegirl
“Pretzelbodylogic” (with Shelby J)
“Plectrumelectrum”
“Wow” (with Liv Warfield)

Bilal
The Beautiful Ones”
“If I Was Your Girlfriend”

“Musicology” (Shelby J)
Mayte Garcia, dance performance
“Computer Blue” (André Cymone)
“I Would Die 4 U” (Marva King)
“Sexy M.F.” (Tony Mosley)
“Gett Off” (Doug E. Fresh)
“Sometimes It Snows in April” (Elisa Fiorillo Dease)
“Girls & Boys” (Marva King)
“She’s Always in My Hair” (Kip Blackshire)
“Controversy” (André Cymone)
“La Di Da Di” (Doug E. Fresh)

Tori Kelly
Let’s Go Crazy”
“Diamonds and Pearls”
“Take Me With You” (with Stevie Wonder)
“Raspberry Beret” (with Stevie Wonder)

Jessie J.
I Wanna Be Your Lover”
“Nothing Compares 2 U” (with Kip Blackshire)

Stevie Wonder
Someday We’ll All Be Free”
“Superstition”
Instrumental jam
“Purple Rain”

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