Review: Prince, Piano & A Microphone – Atlanta


Prince Concert - Sold Out

Prince came into Atlanta on April 14,2016 after a 12 year hiatus like a man on a mission to prove that a) he hasn’t lost a beat, and b) to hand deliver audio perfection in the form of 2 shows at 7pm and 10pm at The Fox Theatre in downtown Atlanta, GA. Two sold out shows of 4,678 seats each (9,356 total for you math junkies.)

The Prince, Piano and a Microphone tour was here. The tour originally scheduled for the previous week was postponed a week later due to Prince being ill with the flu, but now he was better and to make good on a great show.

The ambiance was palpable from the moment you arrived as those that were close to the stage were greeted with a light wave of incense that filled the air.  On stage, a single piano spotlighted by two purple stage lights that sat in front of a large screen showcasing kaleidoscope style graphics.

Each side of the stage had its own candelabra and a stool with three candles. Occasionally, the setting was breezed with a small dusting from fog machines and you knew something special was going to happen.

The 7pm Show

IMG_20160414_173627As the lights faded for the 7pm show, the crowd swept into a screaming frenzy as the large screen displayed the brightly colored graphic of the afro’ed Prince with his eyes closed and his 3rd eye. Slowly the graphic begins to fade only to be eventually replaced by a grid of similar colorful graphics that  you’ve seen around the web similar to the Hit N Run album covers.

Then a blast of color and you witness the silhouette of Prince and his now notorious cane. The screen rises and out walks Prince awash in bright yellow light. The crowd screams intensify for what seems like minutes, and finally as the screen closes, he struts the stage and it’s official. He’s arrived.

He starts the show with a slow instrumental tune that serves as the background for his apologies for the cancellation and then the setlist begins;

Little Red Corvette
Dirty Mind
back into Little Red Corvette
Linus and Lucy (The Peanuts theme)
B-side Song (Nobody Do It Like I Do)
Nothing Compares 2 U

As he finishes the song, he walks around the stage as if he can’t stand it and the crowd stands in agreement with him and they don’t sit again until he does. The entirety of the show, the screen behind him dances with kaleidoscope graphics. Some dizzying and some just plain mesmerizing to watch.

He then begins to share a story about his father and how he taught him piano. The back cover of the program offered at the merchandise table also dedicates the tour to his father. He reflects a bit and then the setlist continues;

Joy in Repetition
Muse 2 The Pharaoh
U Got The Look
Pop Life
Elephants & Flowers
Never Take The Place Of Ur Man
A Case Of You (Joni Mitchell)
I Feel 4 U
The Most Beautiful Girl In the World
I Would Die 4 U
Baby, I’m a Star

He thanks Atlanta and leaves the stage. Not so fast.

Encore 1
Heroes (David Bowie)

He tries to leave again knowing that there’s a crowd gathering outside for an oncoming 10pm show. The 7pm crowd isn’t having it.

Encore 2
Diamonds and Pearls
The Beautiful Ones
back into Adore
Do Me Baby
I Wanna B Ur Lover

Realizing that time has run out, he gets up to leave one more time, but walks back to the piano for one last song,

Encore 3

Then Prince grabs his cane and exits the stage.

The 7pm show lasted about 1 hour, 20 minutes, but it was a lot of show and there was still one show to go.

The 10pm Show

IMG_20160414_185743The 10pm appearance started off in the same way, with his entrance exactly the same, but this was a very different show and we knew it would be.  The dancing colorful kaleidoscopic images still made an appearance from time to time throughout the show, but for the 10pm show, there were photos being displayed.

To start the set, the lights dimmed and we see a pair of hands bound at the wrists. The music begins;

When Will B Paid
The Max
Black Sweat
I Would Die 4 U
Baby, I’m a Star
Ballad of Dorothy Parker
B-side Song (Indifference)
I Love U But I Don’t Trust U

Little Red Corvette

It was a non-stop onslaught of songs;

Dirty Mind
Linus and Lucy (The Peanuts theme)
back to Little Red Corvette
Nothing Compares 2 U

He thanked Atlanta and left the stage, but everyone knew it was way too soon and the library of hits hadn’t even been scratched. The show continued;

Encore 1
Black Muse

He begins a song that everyone knows and claims “Y’all ain’t ready.” and begins to walk away. The screen then shows a screen capture from the Under the Cherry Moon movie of Prince holding a phone. They know what’s coming.

How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore

He thanks Atlanta again. Not enough;

Encore 2
Waiting In Vain (Bob Marley)

If I Was Ur Girlfriend
back to Waiting In Vain

He breaks to tell the story of the movie The Way We Were and how Barbara Streisand‘s character had to call Robert Redford even after after he’d been mean to her. The screen shows the famous photo of the Hollywood duo to accentuate the song further.  “Would you run to me if somebody hurt you? Even if that somebody was me?”

back to If I Was Ur Girlfriend

Prince tries to leave again, but it’s the 10pm show and there’s no crowd waiting outside. He gives them one more dose. The screen shows a snowy street at night and the crowd knows what’s coming.

Encore 3
Sometimes It Snows In April

Purple Rain (the crowd goes nuts)
The Beautiful Ones
back to Purple Rain
Diamonds & Pearls
back to Purple Rain

This time, it’s over. And what was accomplished?

After 12 years of his absence, if anyone learned anything that night, it was that Prince is still just as incredible of a performer than he’s ever been. Who else can be in this volatile music industry for over 40 years and still sell out almost 10,000 seats in under 40 minutes within a week notice? You should have also learned that if it comes through your neck of the woods, you better get there.

And if Prince learned anything, he got a first hand look at just how badly we’ve missed him.

Y’all come back now hear?!




54 thoughts on “Review: Prince, Piano & A Microphone – Atlanta

  1. Great review…you really captured many of the highlights and it was a truly special evening in the ATL.

  2. I went to the 10pm show and it was the best time I ever had! Prince was so funky, soulful, and touched my heart in the best way. I will remember it forever!

  3. I went to the 7 O’clock show. I thought the show was great. Prince was in rare form and he sang his heart out (literally). I didn’t appreciate the audience booing because he did not sing “Purple Rain” He has so many songs in his catalog and he wanted to give us a part of how he feels and share his thoughts. This was my third Prince concert and my husbands first. We both enjoyed it tremendously and if/when he dawns the streets of Atlanta again, I will be there as I am a Prince Fan whether or not he sings songs from the past, present of future. I am one of those people who has every CD and single he has ever put out. He is my all time favorite and I truly enjoyed his show last evening. I don’t care what the critics say, it was a great show no matter how long it was or what he performed it was AWESOME!!!!

    1. I was at the 7:00 show also. That was my first time seeing him live. I loved it. I’ve always been a big fan of Prince, seeing him in concert was a bucket list goal. I will try to see him again if possible. Agreed, the booing was not cool. Otherwise, fantastic concert, memorable life experience, Prince is the man.

    2. He definitely played it at the 10 pm show, and I wonder if he did so to spite those that booed him at the 7 pm show. It was his final medley of the night and he did a phenomenal job of it.

  4. I went to the 7 o’clock show. I would have liked a few more songs — PURPLE RAIN! But honestly the size of the Fox made it feel like a small venue. The stripped down approach of a genius and one instrument allowed you to feel his talent, not just his hits. The borrowing from several other artists. His moving tribute to David Bowie. It was a night like few others. I am SO HAPPY that I was there. So so awesome.

  5. Well written! I was there… for both shows & it went down EXACTLY as you described! I’ve seen @prince perform 5 times. He holds you in his hands for the entire show and then releases you back into the world a changed human being!

    1. I LOVE how u describe this! So authentically true…I lived to be held in those gorgeous hamds again. That feeling. 👏😪. I will miss him forevermore!

  6. Great review…was at the 10pm show…somewhere in there he played “I Love U, but Don’t Trust U Anymore”. I think right before Little Red Corvette. Amazing show….once in a lifetime!

  7. The “B-side Song (If U & I Were Alone In a Quiet Place)” is actually called “Indifference” and has only previously been released as a video on Tidal, I think.

    1. Thank you! We’ll make that change. Some songs were easily identifiable and others had the structure changed significantly and made it challenging to identify tunes sometimes unless you could place the lyrics. And sometimes the songs were short clips under 30 seconds. That song in particular was the entire song but no one was able to identify it! You should have been there.

      1. The song is Indifference and I’ve only found a video under 3rdEyeGirl…Which is kind of disappointing because it was one of my favorites from Thursday’s 10pm show. I was hoping to buy it and put it on a play list. My other favorite–besides Purple Rain–was the Bob Marley 1977 song “Waiting In Vain”. Again, I can’t find a Prince recording, but Annie Lennox does a pretty good job….My two faves from the concert and I can’t buy them. Bummer.

  8. Prince Rogers Nelson has always been outstanding since the days of Lincoln Junior High School talent shows. back in Minneapolis Minnesota when he would play theme from Charlie Brown, Batman , Green Hornet . this was back in the sixties .!!!!!!!
    But I Thank Prince Rogers Nelson for the part HE gave me in graffiti bridge Movie as the number one Pimp!!!!! he’s been one of the coolest young men growing up in North Minneapolis I can ever remember I’m glad he made it From Alex Jordan. Prince father used to come over and visit my mother with the purple BMW my mother & father has known his mother and father for years.

    1. Worst news ever. I’m devastated. It makes you think of your own mortality, and puts into perspective how fragile life is. =… (

  9. Prince RIP!! I was fortunate enough to see two of his tours. The
    Purple Rain tour at Nassau Coliseum and the Lovesexy tour at the
    Garden. Sheila E. performed with him on both tours. I preferred the
    Revolution band with Lisa and Wendy. What accomplished musicians they
    are!! I was shocked of the news!! He was a genius and fought for artists rights. Losing the rights to one’s music is unfair. Many
    musicians die penniless as a result. Hopefully more videos of his
    more recent performances go online. I will truly miss him!! There
    will never be another talented performer in his category ever!!

    1. I can’t even believe this. I’ve been crying my eyes out all morning. HOW can this brilliant musical genius be gone so soon? I just watched him strutting his stuff on stage last month. I saw him live more then a hundred times since 1978. I can’t even imagine a world without a Prince concert once or twice a year. Not to mention a new Prince CD or two every year. Just devastated. 😢😭😢😭😢😭😢😭


  10. My son was a huge Prince fan. Even took me to a concert with him once. I enjoyed it and enjoyed Prince’s music, but my son was the real fan. When my son passed in 2011 I used the appropos line “Good Night, sweet Prince and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest”. When I saw the news of Prince’s passing, all I could think was that they’re now together.

  11. I am praying that there is a video of this performance… To the audience… I am positive that you showed @prince much love and appreciation on one of his last performances

  12. Thank you for detailing The Musical Genius Prince Rogers Nelson’s last scheduled concert. This left tears in my eyes. RIH Dear, Sweet, Wonderful, Beautiful Prince!

  13. Great recap of his last shows. hE shows were always special.
    I was lucky enough to go many shows and even the Grand Opening of GrandSlam. I proposed to my wife at one of his concert, how could she say “no”. His music has been a part of my life and will miss him dearly.
    RIP Prince Nelson Rogers know that you are loved.

  14. Thank you for the review. I was there. In fact I was Prince’s lighting designer on the night, and was looking forward to taking this incredible show forward.
    It was a stunning night, and an honour to work on it.
    Thank you once more for this review- my Production Manager even accused me of writing it, so detailed was the review about the Production as well as the man and his music.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *