For Your Weekend Listening Pleasure: When Prince Played the Red Jacket. Erykah Badu Too.
Got a press release this afternoon offering further info about that Prince pre-Super Bowl show on the old Reunion Arena site: Erykah Badu's been added as the opener. Which is nice and all, but tickets -- which go on sale tomorrow morning -- still start at $1,500, which is only, say, $1,470 out of my price range. So for now I'll stick with this: Prince's so-called "after-show" performance at the old Red Jacket on Greenville Avenue in April 2002, when his One Nite Alone tour made a stopover at the Music Hall at Fair Park.
Ah, and speaking of the Arts Magnet Grad Formerly Known as Erica Wright, that's her voice heard on the very first song: "Didn't Cha Know?," a cut off Badu's 2000 album Mama's Gun and, for a while there, a sorta-staple in Prince's live show. She wasn't the only Special Guest that night -- that's Maceo Parker on "Pass the Peas," an old J.B.'s staple. And says here that's the late, great Buddy Miles riding out "The Ride."
This is hardly a greatest-hits package -- nothing at all like that Reunion show on New Year's Eve '84. "When You Were Mine" is the biggest "hit" played, and Prince speeds through it it about a minute flat -- no vocals, no time, no worries. This is post-Warners Prince -- the online record-club salesman who ditched the majors and opened the vaults without much effort made to separate the funky from the funked. That night at the Red Jacket was all about playing long and loud and doing whatever the hell he wanted to; what, someone was gonna complain? I remember people who were there saying later it was a solid, sweaty groove, an on-and-on-and-on-and jam session they hoped would never end. But it did. Now, it doesn't have to.