Roskilde Festival had been lucky enough to sign a contract with none other than Prince. He was scheduled to play as this year's last artist on the huge Orange stage Sunday evening at 22:00. The stage crew had massive problems and the concert was delayed for some time causing anxiety. Several band members showed up on stage including Yonnet and Sheila E.(oh yes!) to calm down the crowd who feared the worst.
Finally the stage lights went into show mode and the concert started with the quiet piano song Venus De Milo. Massive applause when Prince entered the stage to the sound of Let's Go Crazy and launched the band into funky party madness including Let's Go Crazy(including extended jam)/ Delirious/ 1999. What a way to start a huge party for the perhaps 65.000 lucky festival goers who had stayed for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. This was however just the first 18 minutes. After the medley he went into a more than 10 minutes! long version of Little Red Corvette. Very cool indeed.
After that we got a 23 minutes medley at the same intensity as the first medley. This second medley included Controversy/ Sexy Dancer/ Why U Wanna Treat Me So Bad?/ Take Me With U(duet with Sheila E.)/ Guitar. The casual party people got what they wanted and I as a die-hard fan was also very satisfied. Just to see Sheila E. back in front of the stage playing percussion for the entire show was a dream come true.
I was also very pleased to learn that there were no horn players but instead a very skilled and funky harmonica player named Yonnet. It's not that I hate horns I've just gotten tired of massive horn sections often drowning Prince gigs. I prefer more guitar instead and more guitar we got. Prince played lots of guitar this evening and it should be very clear to everyone who was there that not many people on this planet can match him playing guitar. He is simply a God and it sends shivers down your spine when you hear him tweak it to the extreme.
For whatever reason, Prince decided we needed a gospel break. It lasted for 19 minutes and included a lot of singing by Shelby J. I really don't like her voice very much when she sings solo and I think the general opinion was that this part of the gig was waaaaaay too long. It killed the party a bit and it wasn't the wisest choice to make when playing a festival gig for a lot of people who would barely be able to mention a Prince song apart from Purple Rain.
What could be a better way to bring the party back then, than actually playing a 10 minutes version of Purple Rain with a goosebumps causing guitar solo that was out of this world? It was a magical moment to hear the entire crowd join in and while I've often been a bit fed up with this song at the many Prince gigs I've been to, this was certainly not the case here. It was one of those moments anyone who was there will talk about in many years from now.
The first encore was Mountains/ Shake Your Body/ Everyday People/ Higher. It was really cool to hear Mountains live and also Higher with Love Roller Coaster guitar was way cool. It was one long jam that lasted for 13 minutes and certainly kept the party going at a high pace.
The second encore was a very cool version of Kiss with Prince dancing a lot on stage. He really didn't look like he was having too many physical problems as rumour has been in recent years. I've heard Kiss in many live versions but none that were as good as this 5:30 version.
The last encore began with Prince joining Sheila E. on percussion and then launched into Dance(Disco Heat). It lasted for 8 minutes and was one long disco party jam with many breaks. It was a fine way to end this great evening in front of Orange stage and a great way to end this year's Roskilde Festival.
I find it hard to understand if anyone wasn't satisfied with the performance by Prince and his ultra funky band at Roskilde Festival 2010. The festival did the absolutely right thing when paying a lot of money for Prince (not that I ever doubted it would work.) Prince is one of those musicians you just have to go and experience when you have a chance to do so. They do not build musicians that way anymore. He is one of a kind. It is real music by real musicians. You never know what you get before entering a Prince gig. Not even if you already have been to ten gigs on the same tour. This is why it is magic. This is why we love Prince. This is why we go every time we get a chance. Even if we have to sell our mother and a kidney to have enough money to pay for the ticket. Prince rules. Believe.
Prince and the band:
Prince, Sheila E., Mr Hayes, Cassandra O'neal, Josh Dunham, C.C. Dunham, Shelby J., Liv, Elisa, Yonnet.
Venus De Milo, Let's Go Crazy/ Delirious/ 1999, Little Red Corvette, Controversy(I Like Funky Music)/ Sexy Dancer(Le Freak (Chic Cover), Housequake), Why U Wanna Treat Me So Bad?, Take Me With U [Duet With Sheila E.], Guitar, Angel [Shelby J.] (Sarah Mclachlan Cover), Lean On Me (Bill Whiters Cover), Nothing Compares 2 U, Purple Rain, Mountains/ Shake Your Body(Down to the Ground) (The Jacksons Cover)/ Everyday People (Sly & the Family Stone Cover)/ Higher [Love Roller Coaster Rythm Guitar] (Sly & The Family Stone Cover), Kiss, Dance(Disco Heat) (Sylvester Cover).