Monday 26 May 2014

Prince and 3rdeyegirl at The Hydro

I was in London with work for 2-days so couldn't get to Prince at The Hydro. My friend Gordon Reid was there and kindly agreed to write a blog on his experience…

So the little purple genius and his band 3rdeyegirl were playing the Hydro. The general consensus was that tickets were not going to be cheap and demand was going to take supply round the back of the building and beat the living snot out of it . The consensus was pretty much spot on. At £148 for two standing tickets ( including booking fee ) its a hefty outlay but its Prince Rogers Nelson , Prince for Gods sake . On the day the tickets went on sale the good lady wife sat at the computer with bank card at the ready and three different links open to do the necessary . She failed miserably as by all accounts it sold out in 25 minutes .

It would be a short review if that was the end of the story but thankfully it wasn`t as two weeks later we got a message from Alexander , a Prince daft friend , telling us that there had been a clampdown on people ordering too many tickets and the ones that had been claimed back had been put on sale . Even better he had purchased two and they were ours . Money was transferred rapidly and the funk was on ! Two last E-mails arrived , one telling us that no photography was allowed and the other requesting us to wear something purple . As I`m too old to be told what to do I refused on both counts but the Mrs was happy to go along with it.

We trooped on into the Hydro early doors knowing that there was no support act but we weren`t that surprised as Prince and the band were rumoured to be doing between 2 1/2 and 3 hours . The stage at the Hydro had a huge curtain draped in front and bathed with purple lights . It was apparent quite quickly that the no photographs rule was going to be enforced as security were demanding that people stop taking selfies , a little overkill if you ask me at this point in the evening .

Most of the crowd were wearing something purple as requested and the floor space filled up quickly and the atmosphere started to build from around 7.30pm . Due on stage at 8.00pm its another 20 minutess past that before the house lights went down and a voice boomed out “ Lets Go , Glasgow ” 3 times . The curtain vanishes as if a magician has whipped it away and we were off and running with “LETS GO CRAZY” . Its fair to say that the Hydro obliges .

Its obvious from early doors that Prince and 3rdeyegirl are absolutely ablaze as they belt out hit after hit . 3rdeyegirl consisted of Donna Grantis leading on guitar and sweet baby Jesus that woman can play . From supporting Prince to standing out front herself laying down the funk , the fact that she is drop dead gorgeous ( as are the other two) isn`t lost on anyone in the crowd. Ida Nielsen on bass hardly moves an inch all night but never misses a beat along with Hannah Ford on drums . They are all sorts of bands up there , funk , jazz and rock when the mood and song requires it of them . Watching Prince during the first part of the show is mesmerising . As he plays you see him winking at people in the crowd , blowing kisses and screwing up his face as he makes the guitar talk to everyone . Its all part of the showman and he is clearly having as much fun up there as everyone else in the arena . 

I honestly believe he would have the same passion if there were 12 people in the crowd never mind the 12,000 sell out.

He might be 55 years old but his voice has lost nothing in 30 years . This shows as he still goes through the range to hit those high notes in “KISS“ . The crowd are obedient in the no phone rules and its surprisingly refreshing , even I leave my camera in my pocket and those that know me know that's a bit of a wrench for me.

“FUNKNROLL” sees him bring up some backing dancers from the audience onto the stage . Those people aren`t going to forget that in a hurry and the security guy looks nervous trying to make sure they don`t get too close and still the hits come ; “WHEN DOVES CRY” , “SIGN OF THE TIMES” , “I WOULD DIE 4 U“ and then he`s off stage for the first time and we have a chance to catch our breath . For those of us who are a little older its a welcome relief as the sweat is pouring from us and we`ve been dancing since it kicked off . He comes back out to a wall of noise again and soon we`re partying like it's “1999” . This song is 30 years old but like a good whisky or wine it gets better with age . From there he slips easily into “LITTLE RED CORVETTE” and right there and then he has the whole arena in the palm of his hand . He continues to conduct the crowd throughout demanding that the house lights go up/down and that we sing . He`s toying with us as he enthrals the Hydro by singing “NOTHING COMPARES TO U” in a gospel style with the band slipping easily in to that mode . I actually watched people crying at parts of this , so much for the mean city persona of Glasgow. Even the seated area behind us are on their feet dancing away and at one point he goes over to talk to the ladies of 3rdeyegirl , points up to the higher levels and smiles .

He starts his most iconic song “PURPLE RAIN” on the piano , sings the first verse and leaves the stage on the right to allow the crowd to continue singing the harmony that he played along with the band , taking his time to let it build before casually strolling back in from the left hand side with guitar in hand . He conducts the crowd in one hell of a singalong . Its one of those gig moments that is almost impossible to put into words but you know is going to stay with you for a long time .He launches straight into a cover version of Wild Cherry`s “PLAY THAT FUNKY MUSIC WHITE BOY” and the whole place is off again . As he returns to the piano he asks the crowd “ Do you know how many hits I have , Scotland ? We could be here all night “. We could and not one person would have complained.

Almost 2 1/2 hours this genius and his band played and it didn`t feel long enough . No-one wants him to leave but everything comes to an end and so it does withHOUSEQUAKE” . As he`s left the stage 3 times already nobody leaves just in case but the house lights come up and there seems to be a mixture of sadness that its over but sheer delight at what we have just witnessed . 

What a gig ! What a night ! What a musical genius he is . His ability on the guitar is up there with any of the greats who have wielded the instrument over time .

The time has gone by so quickly that it has been almost impossible to take it all in . To watch a master showman switch so easily between guitar and the piano solos as he played his way through such tunes as “THE BEAUTIFUL ONES” and “DIAMONDS AND PEARLS” like he`s been doing it all his life was beyond words of happiness . The joy he takes from what he does is clearly evident form the smile on his face for the whole time he is on that stage . Oh and I took my camera out when he said it would now be ok to do so.

Will it be the last time we see him in Glasgow ? I truly bloody hope not!


Unknown said...

I dont suppose you have any photo's of the "audience backing dancers" as i was one of them... i have been lucky to get a photo on stage but unfortunatly the man himself aint in it.. It truly was mindblowing stuff

everythingflows said...

Sorry that is all the photos we got Christie, quite an experience for you!