Prince, another boring performance

It’s late at night. There’s nothing to watch on TV. If you’re like me, this means you fire up YouTube and check out… well…. anything! I lean towards political videos lately (Slightly Offensive and Fog City Midge are entertaining!), but the other night I stumbled across Prince’s Super Bowl performance from 2007. From there I went to Purple Rain covers by Eric Clapton, Jimmy Buffet and others.


A YouTube suggestion brought me to Prince’s live performance during the 1985 American Music Awards show. Honestly, I thought, this is going to be tame, possibly boring (how I feel about most music performances at awards shows). Boy was I wrong.

I’ve watched it over and over since then and there are so many points in the performance that I love, and a couple that make the hate list.

Love list

  • The stage setup. While boring (see below), it also is so bland that you can’t help but focus solely on Prince and the music. So the unentertaining stage and background actually is a good thing, I guess.
  • The emotion on his face. He’s not just singing a song. He’s giving you a show, a performance full of feelings.
  • The high falsetto he goes to at 1:47. I’ve heard the song so many times, so this variation was unexpected and amazing. It’s one of my favorite things in music, the falsetto with a nice vibrato, and makes me think of Jack White, who does it well.
  • His choice on when to start playing his guitar. It’s strapped around him through the whole first verse and chorus, but he doesn’t play a single note until just before “…it’s such a shame our friendship had to end.” Puts a great emphasis on this part of the song, and sets it up as the most meaningful part of the lyrics.
  • Women playing guitars and keyboards, always one of my favorite parts of a band.
  • AT 2:41 and 3:44, nice to see a cameo of Nicole Kidman 🙂 (kidding, it’s not her but looks a lot like her!)

Screen Shot 2019-10-01 at 9.20.00 AM

  • Loving the long guitar solo, so amazing.
  • Prince kicking down the mic stand. YES! Why not, ya know?
  • Lionel Richie (in the intro) says Prince is music you can watch. Couldn’t agree more on this performance!

Hate list

  • The stage setup (yep, it’s on both lists). This might just be how the style was back in the 80s, but wow it’s boring.
  • At 4:10, really director? You’re going to cut away right as the guitar solo starts? Come on, man!

So yeah, I’ll admit I was so far away from being right with my prediction about this music awards performance being forgettable and boring. Oopsy.

-Out of the Wilderness

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Music that lasts forever and ever, amen

Quick note: All the links in this post are to other posts I’ve written, take a look!

This past weekend I went to an Elvis festival in Nashville. For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved his music. Being among all those Elvis fans reminded me of my nieces. The oldest is 16 and the youngest is 5 or 6. But when they were younger and Elvis came on the radio, most of them wanted us to change the station fast! For whatever reason they didn’t like Elvis music. Well, come to find out they didn’t like any music that wasn’t Justin Bieber or whatever played on Radio Disney.

I never really thought about it much but their constant disdain for what is widely considered good music (Elvis is just one example), I began to appreciate the music I was “forced” to listen to when I was growing up. This isn’t a condemnation of how my nieces and nephew are being raised at all (I would never tell someone how to parent! Actually, I take that back, I wouldn’t tell my siblings how to parent!), but while my parents were kind and would leave the radio on a certain song we liked only sometimes, most of the time we listened to music they liked.

As I grew into an adult, I became more and more thankful for the music I had already heard before. Because of this, I really, really want the kids in our family to be exposed to that kind of music. Elvis, the Beach Boys, U2, Led Zepelin, Billy Joel, this singer (who was my first crush), Bob Marley, Alan Jackson, wait wait… I can’t do this. The post would be 5 days long. To be fair, there are a lot of current bands that are making good music, too… that list would also be 5 days long but bands like The Head and The Heart (I wrote about their show in Nashville here), OneRepublic, Zac Brown Band, Josh Ritter, Jack White, Lumineers, and again, I won’t keep going.

I keep thinking about the youngsters my family, “They have no idea what they’re missing. There is SO. MUCH. MORE.”

Well, last week something huge happened. Something monumental. I was hanging out with a few of the kids and I’d almost successfully drowned out the music that was playing when a Randy Travis song came on. My ears perked up and I asked, “Who picked this song?” My oldest niece (the 16 yr old) said she did because she likes it.

There is a God in Heaven.

-Out of the Wilderness