Prince Kicks it Old School in Victoria

f you missed Prince in Victoria Saturday night, you’ve probably already heard from your friends how you need to hang your head in shame.

The trouble with going to see one of your rock icons in concert is that too often they can let you down. Ask anyone who’s been to a Bob Dylan concert in the last decade. But every now and again, they live up to everything you’re hoping for.

And if you missed Prince when he took to the stage at the Save On Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria Saturday night, you’ve probably already heard from your friends how you need to hang your head in shame — because he rocked the place like it was his own personal playground.

From the moment he rose from a trapdoor in the stage floor (a stage that was shaped like his “too cool for a name” symbol) in a black-and-white outfit that only he and perhaps Beyoncé could pull off, Prince became the Lord of the Dance. No longer was the audience sitting in a hockey arena, we were at a party.

Everybody, and I mean everybody, got to their feet at some point in the evening to dance the night away. Even those stuck behind the stage had to participate when Prince good-naturedly made them feel part of the whole. Some seated in the VIP section were obviously having the time of their lives when Prince invited them on stage to dance for the last few numbers, their faces (and other anatomy) broadcast on the six super-sized screens Prince brought with him.

Backed by a full band of stellar musicians dubbed the New Power Generation, three vivacious backup vocalists and guest musician, legendary saxophonist Maceo Parker, Prince blended the old school with the new school with “real music by real musicians.”

Lacing in a selection of hits (including a great selection of old-school audience favourites from his popular Purple Rain album) with a smattering of lesser known tunes and cool covers, Prince looked to be having as good a time as the audience.

He also made sure to let everyone know he knew where he was with numerous shout-outs to Victoria — even changing the lyrics at one point to mention our city. And in response to his successful Canadian tour, he told the audience, “I knew you liked my music up here, I just didn’t realize how much.”

So if you didn’t find yourself dancing your ass off Saturday night, you definitely weren’t at the Prince concert.

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