Well this isn’t much of a surprise by all accounts Prince showed up and showed out at the 2014 Essence Music Festival.
It was a parade of hits as concert goers sang along in purple madness. Even the Mercedes Benz Super Dome was lit up in purple.
Nearly 50,000 fans packed the sold-out show for what was a sure crowd pleaser.
Alison Fensterstock of the Times Picayune wrote,
The show was hit-heavy and long on audience engagement. His first declaration was that the band would play “14 hits all in a row,” which, besides “Let’s Go Crazy,” included “Take Me With U,” the Time’s “Cool” and “Jungle Love,” “Hot Thing,” “Controversy,” “Kiss,” Vanity 6’s “Nasty Girl,” “Sign o’ the Times,” “When Doves Cry,” “Raspberry Beret,” “Hot Thing,” “1999” and a slow and aching “Little Red Corvette.” (“You know how many hits I got?” he shouted.) Trombone Shorty was introduced with fanfare during “Sometimes It Snows in April,” featuring English soul singer Lianne La Havas, and stuck around onstage in a purple dress shirt.
With the core 3rdEyeGirl rock ensemble augmented by an 11-person New Power Generation horn section, Prince was effusive, playful and chatty, spending lots of time on the extended stage runway close to his fans; he played to the Essence crowd, demanding sing-alongs and keeping the energy high even as feedback and monitor problems plagued the show. After his 14 or so hits were ticked off, he thanked the NPG, Monae and Rodgers, and announced, “This is your party now, any requests?”
She later confirmed requests weren’t actually taken but at 56 he sure knows how to engage his audience.
And the party didn’t stop there. Your purple highness left the stage at almost 1am only to make a surprise appearance with good friend Liv Warfield at the New Orleans House of Blues.
Gotta luv it!