PRINCE PARTIES LIKE IT’S 2000

The star's first gig of the new millennium is a hit-packed three-and-a-half-hour bonanza...

Prince performed his first gig of the new millennium on Tuesday night (June 13) with a three-and-a-half hour performance at MINNEAPOLIS NORTHROP AUDITORIUM before 5,000 fans to celebrate his 42nd birthday.

Guests who joined the purple one on stage included frequent collaborator Larry Graham, formerly of Sly And The Family Stone, rappers Doug E. Fresh and Q. Tip, sax player Maceo Parker and R n B singer and current studio collaborator Angie Stone.

According to reports on Wall Of Sound (www.rollingstone.com, the show was primarily filled with lengthy funk-soul jams, but included classics ‘Purple Rain’, ‘Kiss’, ‘Delirious’ and ‘Raspberry Beret’, ‘Uptown’, ‘When You Were Mine’ and more obscure tracks such as ‘Anna Stesia’ and ‘The One’.

Angie Stone sang her hit ‘No More Rain’ followed by a cover of Aretha Franklin‘s ‘Dr Feelgood’ and a duet with Prince on ‘Nothing Compares 2U’.

Acknowledging the free-form nature of the set, Prince told the audience, who had travelled from as far afield as the UK: “We haven’t done a real concert in a long time. We’ve been jamming and working it up. Sometime we’ll come to your country and put something together that’s real music.”

Reports on Prince website [url=]www.npgonlineltd.com added that three members of The Revolution – bassist Brown Mark, keyboard player Dr Fink and drummer Bobby Z – took over from New Power Generation personnel for ‘America’.

The gig was the culmination of the week-long Paisley Park-based event ‘Prince: A Celebration’, during which the studio and production complex threw open its doors to fans, hosting an exhibition of Prince memorabilia, from stage costumes and video props to cars used in his movies, plus daily tours of the site.

There were also themed clubs each night, which kicked off on June 7 with Macy Gray singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Prince, followed by a performance the next night at the ‘Diamonds And Pearls’ theme night by Taja Sevelle. On Sunday night, Prince himself turned up and the DJ played several new unreleased songs.