Details of Prince and the Revolution's stop through Dallas in support of Purple Rain remain a bit hazy; I was, after all, 16 at the time and just happy to get out of the house. Especially on New Year's Eve. Or was it the night before? Or the night after? My ride that night doesn't recall either; I just asked. If only we could reach our old friend Brooks, who'd gone with others. He had by far the better seats -- as in, near the front row. Which is how he wound up getting yanked up onstage and becoming the recipient of Sheila E's singalong sitdown striptease during her opening set. For a while, he was a legend. A god. Surely he'd remember which night we'd gone.
Regardless, to New Year's Eve '84 it is in a Wayback Machine formerly known as Reunion Arena, may it rest in pieces. This recording, made by an audience member caught in the chaos and disorder of a let's-go-crazy-do-me-baby night, is said to be better than its previously circulated predecessors -- "cleaned carefully," adjusted audio levels and complete set list, promises its (ahem) distributor. And, clearly, Mr. Nelson's into it -- way into it, Prince at play on party night.
The set list's more or less a greatest-hits to that point -- something from almost every record, except the '78 bow, with most offerings coming, of course, from 1999 and Purple Rain. (I'd have been happy, then but especially now, with an all-Controversy show.) It's all there -- every last moan and groan and growl and whisper and howl and squeak and scream and synthout and guitargasm. Go crazy. And remember: Always look 4 the purple banana.
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