This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
Praise for the Purple One: Prince @ The Roosevelt 6/30
The ticket was $3,121 dollars and somehow it landed in my hands for free. I won't get into specifics, but I was suddenly spending my Saturday night at the hottest, most elite show in the country instead of my friend's house party (I'm sure he understands).
I'll answer the most important questions first: Yes, he played "Kiss". No, he didn't play "Purple Rain". Yes, he played "Nothing Compares to You". No, he didn't play "When Doves Cry".
The night was surreal, more like a dream than reality, everything purple hued and lit in a through-the-looking-glass style (and I was stone sober). Around 12:30 the Purple One took the stage. Dressed in an asian inspired suit/pajamas (I'm pretty sure it was silk), flanked by his Twins, Prince started the show at full volume. Rocking an assortment of songs I've never heard while embodying a James Brown style of funk. The man has moves, no way around it. He has a natural charisma that moved everyone to their feet. His royal badness paraded up and down the aisles, hitting every note and wailing on his telecaster. Guy's got skills.
The space at the Roosevelt Hotel had been converted into "Club 3121" with purple lighting, leather couches and flat-screens playing Prince's new Verizon commercial. The crowd was filled with an assortment of Hollywood types. Jessica Simpson, Eve, Scott Caan and Elisha Cuthbert were all on hand. Bottom line, if you were there, you felt like you were the shit (despite my being extremely not "The Shit", I somehow manage to land in these situations).
The best and worst parts of the night are after the jump...
The Best Parts of the Night:
1. Patrick Swayze, who Prince brought on stage during "Play that Funky Music". He stumbled over the words before trying to dance then giving up. For having been a professional dancer, Swayze was surprisingly awful on his feet, giving the equivalent of the "drunk uncle" dance at a wedding reception. Must have been the booze, of which he had much. His table was littered with empty glasses. After trying to get two white boys to sing the lyrics (both failed), Prince had to bring Tyler Perry (who, at 6'5", towers over Prince by more than a foot) on-stage to actually get through a verse.
2. "Let's Go Crazy," which was amazing. Hearing Prince speak the opening "Dearly Beloved" is something everyone should experience. Like seeing the grand canyon or going to Fenway Park.
3. The atmosphere, which was euphoric. I didn't have a sip of alcohol, but I felt that giddy excitement all night. Prince has a way of elevating the entire room through music, so it almost feels like you're floating. I have never seen a room fill with the energy of last Saturday night.
The Worst Parts of the Night:
1. Security, which was tight. If you so much as reached for your phone to text, check the time or, god forbid, try to take a picture you were immediately approached by security who threatened to escort you out if you didn't put it away. That is, unless you had a brand new iphone, which brings us to....
2. The asshole and his friends next to me who spent their entire time playing with (showing off) their iphones. I know, the iphone is awesome. I'm super impressed you have one. You're way cooler than me. I should buy you a drink because of how special you are. But put the fucking thing away and watch the goddamn show. You paid over three-grand to get in, concentrate on the man making music and not how lucky you are to be able to check myspace at a concert (That being said, I really want an iphone). Oh, and quit with the fucking cattle-call whistle, everyone within 5 feet hates you.
3. The Costume Changes of which I counted no less than 3 (all to a different style of pajamas). Prince would leave the stage to his band for 10 minutes so they could demonstrate how remarkably good they are and return in a different color get-up. The band was talented, you can't take that away from them, but when you're there to see Prince and suddenly end up with a 10 minute Sax solo of "What a Wonderful World" (when you're already starting to fade because it's 2am) you want to just get back to the classics.
After he wrapped up his big stage show at 3am, I kicked around until 3:30am when he started his late night jazz jam in the courtyard. Again, AMAZING music, talented musicians, but by 4am I was just too friggin' tired to stick around and hear experimental jazz riffs (jesus, I sound like my father and I'm only in my 20's). The party went until 6am but I cut out early. By the way, Hollywood is a wasteland at 4am, very creepy (and all other times some would say). All said, 10 bucks for parking is what I spent on an incredible evening.
Photo courtesy of The Bump Squad because Security wouldn't let me use my goddamn camera.