Singer tells Roundhouse crowd: "Something is going on in here. I don't know about you but I can feel it"
Prince last night (June 4) showed that his Hit & Run Part II tour places great emphasis on the hits, playing a career-spanning set of his best loved material at London’s Roundhouse, then following it with another show the same evening.
The shows were announced at short notice on Tuesday (June 4) and both were sold out. Prince played the first part of the Hit & Run tour in February this year, performing last-minute shows in venues including Camden’s Electric Ballroom, KOKO and Ronnie Scott’s. It was strongly rumoured during that first run that Prince would appear at The Roundhouse, but no show was forthcoming.
The first set began at 7pm, and it quickly became apparent that Prince and his all-female band 3rdEyeGirl were intent on pleasing fans, beginning with a raft of well-loved songs including ‘Let’s Go Crazy’, ‘Take Me With U’, ‘Raspberry Beret’ an a cowbell-heavy version of ‘U Got The Look’. It was a set that saw the performer dance – and even pirouette – on stage and pour affection on the crowd: “London, are you hot? Do you know why? Because you’re cool,” he chanted at one point.
The singer – wearing a 3rdEyeGirl tunic – then introduced a medley of ‘When Doves Cry’, ‘Sign ‘O’ The Times’ and ‘I Would Die 4U’ by saying, “30 years ago, this was the sound”. Drummer Hannah Welton played no less than four drum solos during ‘Sign ‘O’ The Times’. A version of ‘Controversy’, played next, segued into Wild Cherry’s ‘Play That Funky Music’, then back into ‘Controversy’.
Prince then played ‘1999’ and a slow version of ‘Little Red Corvette’, before playing ‘Nothing Compares 2U’. Afterwards, he asked the crowd, “Alright, how many hits was that? We got any more? You sure?” before concluding the main part of the set with ‘Kiss’.
A series of encores followed, the first featuring ‘The Love We Make’, ‘I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man’ and new track ‘Guitar’, which saw guitarist Donna Grantis play numerous solos. The second encore saw Prince return, alone, to play a piano medley of ‘Diamonds And Pearls’, ‘Beautiful Ones’ and Joni Mitchell’s ‘A Case Of You’.
“London, I never get tired of this song,” said the performer, playing the introduction to ‘Purple Rain’, “Tonight I dedicate it to The Roundhouse.” The full-length version of the song saw the crowd singing along to the long outro, with the encouragement of Prince. “Something is going on in here. I don’t know about you but I can feel it,” he said.
A final encore saw a version of 3rdEyeGirl’s ‘She’s Always In My Hair’. At 9pm, the first audience exited the venue, while a second audience entered for Prince and the band’s second full-length show.
Prince and 3rdEyeGirl played:
‘Let’s Go Crazy’ (with portions of ‘Frankenstein’)
‘Take Me With U’
‘U Got The Look’
Medley: ‘When Doves Cry’/’Sign ‘O’ The Times’/ ‘I Would Die 4U’
‘Play That Funky Music’
‘Little Red Corvette’
‘Nothing Compares 2U’
‘The Love We Make’
‘I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man’
Medley: ‘Diamonds And Pearls’/ ‘Beautiful Ones’/ ‘A Case Of You’
‘She’s Always In My Hair’