While the first gig in Oslo had been way too much of a party jam with audience members dancing on stage for half of the concert, then the second Oslo gig was a great display of why Prince is a legendary live performer. Things had been tightened completely compared to the first gig and the focus was now much more on the music.
The gig started at 20:20 with a long beautiful piano intro played by Cassandra and then the first half hour was a breathtaking performance of catchy pop songs played with perfection by the NPG and stunning guitar playing by Prince, particularly in "Little Red Corvette". They even played "1999" completely with Mommy, why does everybody have a bomb? lyrics and it all felt good. Most of this first half hour reminded me of the gig at Roskilde Festival last year. Many of the same songs and much of the same great party feeling to it.
"Nothing Compares 2 U" was a very great duet with Shelby and she really sang this one so impressively powerful that the audience was taken by storm. Andy sang solo on "Waiting In Vain". Besides singing she did all sorts of weird stuff during the gig like painting a picture on a canvas ("Raspberry Beret"), playing guitar that you pretty much couldn't hear, or dancing "The Cameroon" (as named by Prince) in a criminally short dress that made for a very nice view for us male audience members in the front rows. I'm still not sure what her exact job description is, but I'm sure Prince knows. Anyway, she also did a fine duet with Prince on "Take Me With U".
"AnotherLoverHolenYoHead" sounded very weird and messy at first, but as it progressed it turned out to be an inferno of awesome bass rhythm and heavy guitar that sounded absolutely fantastic. A totally mind blowingly cool version actually. Ida sure knows how to kick some ass on her bass guitar and other highlights in that department would be "Alphabet St." and "Let's Work". "Purple Rain" is always a joy live, but I've heard even more memorable performances than the one at this gig.
A very touching moment of the evening was Prince singing "Sometimes It Snows In April" only joined by Cassandra on the piano. You could feel how the people of Oslo were moved to tears and it was very emotional to witness. A true highlight of the evening.
Then Prince started playing with his Sampler and lucky for us the sound was better than the night before. He also did a ridiculously funny dance performance in "Kiss" that caused many smiles and much laughter. That man can still dance like a serious motherfucker, I tell ya. "I Would Die 4 U" and "A Love Bizarre" was a combination of Sampler and full band and it sounded awesome, especially the bass on "A Love Bizarre".
As last song we got "Play That Funky Music" including a stage invasion by audience members. Not my preferred ending to this great gig, but no way could it spoil the fact, that this was a great show by Prince and the band. The many rather long breaks during the show was another thing that annoyed me a bit, but that is just something you have to live with at many Prince shows.
If only they keep the focus on the music, then nobody can mess with The NPG. They are an incredible live band and Prince once again proved that he is truly King. When I collapsed on my hotel bed later that nite, I was actually glad that there hadn't been announced an after-show. I was way too tired after 2 days in Oslo with tons of funky music. Now I need to get some good sleep in my own bed, so I can get ready for more NPG madness in this coming weekend in Copenhagen.
Ida was on the same flight as me back to Copenhagen. I didn't actually talk to her, but she looked quite tired too, so I hope she gets a good night's sleep as well, before she starts slappin' her bass again in superfunky ways.
- Prince - whatever
- John Blackwell - drums
- Cassandra O'Neal - keyboards
- Morris Hayes - keyboards
- Ida Nielsen - bass
- Shelby J. - vox
- Andy Allo - vox (guitar)
Playing time: 2h20 (incl. several breaks)