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Thread started 12/11/13 9:13am

bashraka

Janelle Monae and Prince Live 12/29 at Mohegan Sun!

2h

Dec. 29th! Prince & Janelle Monáe LIVE @ Mohegan Sun Arena!

Prince and Janelle Monae will be giving Connecticut what we love. I wish I could see this show.

3121 #1 THIS YEAR
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Reply #1 posted 12/11/13 2:57pm

luvparade

bashraka said:

2h

Dec. 29th! Prince & Janelle Monáe LIVE @ Mohegan Sun Arena!

Prince and Janelle Monae will be giving Connecticut what we love. I wish I could see this show.

biggrin me too, I know this show will shine so bright, everyone there is in for a Beautiful Nite flower

Prince and Janelle are going to tear the place up. Hey, Lucky Ones, U are in for some serious FUN!

cool

2Gether heart 4Ever
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Reply #2 posted 12/13/13 5:41pm

luvparade

Prince sure is keeping busy these days. Now he'll be heating up the stage with Esperanza just in time for Janelle's arrival biggrin

2Gether heart 4Ever
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Reply #3 posted 12/16/13 11:21am

cindymay

luvparade said:

Prince sure is keeping busy these days. Now he'll be heating up the stage with Esperanza just in time for Janelle's arrival biggrin

seriously razz

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Reply #4 posted 12/29/13 10:25am

myseven

Ya'll have a good time ya hear! guitar bananadance cowboy

peace and heart to all.

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Reply #5 posted 12/29/13 5:55pm

TOMEEBOY

Lights down Janelle on!
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Reply #6 posted 12/29/13 6:32pm

ladychel61

avatar

bashraka said:

2h

Dec. 29th! Prince & Janelle Monáe LIVE @ Mohegan Sun Arena!

Prince and Janelle Monae will be giving Connecticut what we love. I wish I could see this show.

Wish i could be there neutral

♥ Feeling Purple Rain...Don't hold on 2 the pain, hold on 2 the memories ♥
My heart will go on...Celine Dion
I will always love you...Whitney Houston
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Reply #7 posted 12/29/13 7:10pm

TOMEEBOY

Janelle set just ended.....Doug e Fresh now
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Reply #8 posted 12/30/13 5:50am

bronxapostle

avatar

gee whizzzzz; no setlist yet! i love/hate knowing what i missed.

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Reply #9 posted 12/30/13 1:18pm

gubbins4ever

avatar

Energy, excitement, flow, charisma, ego, charm: These define any Prince show. Attending a Prince performance is more than watching a man and his band; Prince is a phenomenon, a larger than life construct of recordings, media, and stories stretching back over 35 years. So, for many people, these shows are as much about star appeal as about the music.

.

Prince's music has been an avid pursuit of mine since 1998. Although a follower of the music, I'd attended only a handful of live shows before tonight's: One Nite Alone (2002), Musicology (2004), and Earth Tour (2007). Perhaps unfortunately, I started on a high note: ONA was in a small-medium capacity venue, I was in row 13, the sound was phenomenal, the setlist fan-friendly, and as a music club member I attended the soundcheck (The Ballad of Dorothy Parker, The Jam, and The Ladder). Compared to that, the large venue stadium experience - the reverb-heavy wall of noise sound, being so far away from the performers - is much weaker. Who knows if I'll ever see a Prince show to rival the ONA tour.

.

Tonight's performance at Mohegan Sun was a solid show with a setlist more suited to general audiences than fans; mostly popular 80s hits, a good flow from one song to another, well-timed mellow periods, and a careful choice of big band NPG and guitar-heavy 3rd Eye Girl.

Setlist

Big City
Superconductor
1999
Mutiny
Nothing Compares 2U
Musicology
Let's Work
U Got the Look

The Sweeter (S)He Is
Something in the Water (Does Not Compute)
Let's Go Crazy

Sampler set:

When Doves Cry

Nasty Girl
Sign 'O' the Times
Forever in My Life
Pop Life
Housequake

.

Encore 1:

Purple Rain

Encore 2:
Raspberry Beret
Take Me With U
Cool / Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough

Encore 3:
Plectrum Electrum

This wasn't a performance with many surprises for the fans; well-trodden hits, familiar sampler set and audience on stage sections, between-song lines that we've heard before ("this is my house now!"), main closer of Purple Rain, and so on. Prince has done this show many times before. One wonders if predominantly greatest hits shows will mostly define his live career from hereon, as they have done since the Musicology tour, or if one day he'll try something else as he did the Ultimate Live Experience (1995) and One Nite Alone (2002) tours.

That said, elements of the night that stood out for me included:

1. Janelle Monae

A stunning opening act. Compelling songs (songs seem to hover in the pop-rnb genre; some guitar, horns too) and bucket loads of charisma (those facial expressions!). This set also included a version of Let's Go Crazy, meaning this song was performed twice in one night. This version was in the more traditional style and my girlfriend preferred it to the Reloaded version in Prince's setlist. Janelle gave her set everything she had. It would be easily worth attending a show of hers.

2. Doug E Fresh

Our old rapper friend came out after Janelle for some old school song DJing (albeit no rapping) to get the crowd going while the main stage was retooled for Prince's set. How interesting to see a man whom many associate with one of Prince's worst musical escapades (the 1999 remix album) be such a great asset at a Prince show. That he DJed toward the back of the venue was great for the folks such as us in the balcony who often feel a little alienated from performances.

3. Shelby J., Liv Warfield, and Elisa Dease

Incredible singers with powerful pipes, true talent. For me, not being too familiar with her, Elisa's voice particularly shone and she provided gorgeous harmonics to accompany Prince on several occasions.

4. Alternating between the NPG and 3rd Eye Girl

Some parts of the show featuring horn-dominated NPG, other parts just the stripped-down rock sound of 3rd Eye Girl; this was in contrast to concerts earlier this year which focussed entirely on one band or the other. As a fan of both sounds, but wary of a whole show of horns, this 2-band approach really worked for me. No sound outstayed its welcome.

5. Plectrum Electrum

After encore 2, the audience was filing out of the arena. As we were leaving, I was telling my girlfriend how Prince often does 1-4 encores and how he'll even let half the stadium empty before coming back (thinking of a performance of Endorphinmachine from this year). And then, lo and behold, there came a crashing guitar sound! We poured back into the stadium and for a few happy minutes saw Prince at ground level and in detail, contrasting with our balcony seats from the main show. "What is Plectrum Electrum?", said Prince; I speculated this short extra was letting us all know the new album is not far away.

You'll notice the above discusses other performers, but doesn't say much about Prince. To be honest, Prince was more or less the same as usual; no surprises but phenomenal as always, especially his stunning guitar work during Something in the Water, which was one of my favorite parts of the night.

On with some more critical elements that stood out for me during the night:

1. Cellphones

It astonished me to see so many people on their smartphones throughout the night. I assumed that paying $150+ to see one of the planet's most legendary performers would be captivating enough to put away the phone. I was wrong. Throughout the night, even during such popular highlights as Purple Rain, on every row there was at least one person (sometimes 3 or 4 people in a row) staring at their phone, sending text messages as a world-famous musician and talented band members labored away; an act of great disrespect in my view.

It's sad to witness the hypnotic power of these devices and what they are doing to our social environment. It was this kind of observation that inspired me to get rid of my cellphone several years ago; life has been better because of it.

2. Listening to audience recordings

Recently, I heard some audience recordings of Prince shows from earlier this year. To my disappointment, this significantly reduced my enjoyment of tonight's show; things were too familiar and unsurprising. I strongly recommend not listening to recordings of recent shows if you plan on attending one.

.

3. Dancing

Full enjoyment of music occurs when one's body movements merge with the sound itself. In other words: Dance! Much of Prince's music only makes sense when one physically engages with it. At tonight's show, my girlfriend and I danced as much as we could. It wasn't clear to me how much the non-dancing majority around us were getting out of sitting motionless and watching. If more people get up, it would surely be greatly enjoyable not only for the audience but for Prince and the band, who put so much effort into these shows.

4. On critiquing shows

My philosophy with anything one greatly looks forward to (and/or pays a great deal for) is simple: Enjoyment is the #1 priority. Forget wasting energy on nitpicking - just enjoy the show! Or if you can't enjoy yourself, don't waste your time and money by attending. Of course, critical analysis can be rewarding in its own way but I suggest this golden rule: Whatever your approach, enjoy yourself to the greatest possible degree and allow other people the same.

5. Volume

The others who joined me felt this show was too loud. Luckily, I had earbuds which filtered out a lot of noise. This is a quality of experience issue; overly loud music drowns out melody, dynamic range, and words. More seriously, this is a health issue: Music this loud can damage people's hearing. Two 5 year olds were sitting next to me (great to see children there!); it worried me that this concert could harm their ears.

If, as I've heard, the performer decides how loud the music is, then Prince himself needs to show some concern for people's health. He could either lower the volume or provide complementary earbuds at the door; my guests definitely would have used them.

6. On greatest hits shows

This is my third Prince hits show; I'm not sure how often I'd want to spend a lot of money to see the same songs performed again, even if with a different band and/or arrangement. This show made me wonder how many fans skip these shows and just attend afterparties, which are more intimate with set lists more appealing to fans. There's a whole Prince word of mouth grapevine and strategies for finding out and getting into afterparties, but it could be worth it.

That said, respect to Prince for obviously putting a lot of thought into striking a balance between catering for a mass audience and for fans. The former group outnumbers the latter by many times; therefore it only makes sense for greatest hits shows to be played more often. Playing obscure songs doesn't satisfy general audiences. However, this is a complex discussion with more nuance than what I've just said.

.

7. Small versus large shows

Everything has a size limit beyond which things don't work as well (democracy is a great example). This definitely applies to music. It becomes increasingly difficult for musicians to connect with audiences beyond a certain size. The physical distance between performers and audience creates alienation, sound must be so loud that its quality deteriorates, and set lists become increasingly popularist.

As with tonight's show, in many ways I've found shows with a 50-person audience and a band of far less talented performers more emotionally-engaging than I have Prince's stadium shows. Of course, there's nothing like a Prince show but how telling that a band you've never heard of, playing a small venue, could, for many people, rival a large-scale Prince show. There's a downside to Prince's enormous popularity.

And so, life goes on…

All that anticipation for the show… and then it's over and life rolls on. Prince's music has provided immeasurable entertainment for so many people, diehards and casual listeners. At the same time, there's more to life than just this one man and his art. Perhaps intense fandom consumes too many people and, over time, they become jaded by the experience. If that happens, we are better off switching off the computer, walking away, and making a difference in the world.

Happy new year!

[Edited 12/30/13 13:43pm]

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Reply #10 posted 01/01/14 10:21am

famosA

gubbins4ever said:

Energy, excitement, flow, charisma, ego, charm: These define any Prince show. Attending a Prince performance is more than watching a man and his band; Prince is a phenomenon, a larger than life construct of recordings, media, and stories stretching back over 35 years. So, for many people, these shows are as much about star appeal as about the music.

.

Prince's music has been an avid pursuit of mine since 1998. Although a follower of the music, I'd attended only a handful of live shows before tonight's: One Nite Alone (2002), Musicology (2004), and Earth Tour (2007). Perhaps unfortunately, I started on a high note: ONA was in a small-medium capacity venue, I was in row 13, the sound was phenomenal, the setlist fan-friendly, and as a music club member I attended the soundcheck (The Ballad of Dorothy Parker, The Jam, and The Ladder). Compared to that, the large venue stadium experience - the reverb-heavy wall of noise sound, being so far away from the performers - is much weaker. Who knows if I'll ever see a Prince show to rival the ONA tour.

.

Tonight's performance at Mohegan Sun was a solid show with a setlist more suited to general audiences than fans; mostly popular 80s hits, a good flow from one song to another, well-timed mellow periods, and a careful choice of big band NPG and guitar-heavy 3rd Eye Girl.

Setlist

Big City
Superconductor
1999
Mutiny
Nothing Compares 2U
Musicology
Let's Work
U Got the Look

The Sweeter (S)He Is
Something in the Water (Does Not Compute)
Let's Go Crazy

Sampler set:

When Doves Cry

Nasty Girl
Sign 'O' the Times
Forever in My Life
Pop Life
Housequake

.

Encore 1:

Purple Rain

Encore 2:
Raspberry Beret
Take Me With U
Cool / Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough

Encore 3:
Plectrum Electrum

This wasn't a performance with many surprises for the fans; well-trodden hits, familiar sampler set and audience on stage sections, between-song lines that we've heard before ("this is my house now!"), main closer of Purple Rain, and so on. Prince has done this show many times before. One wonders if predominantly greatest hits shows will mostly define his live career from hereon, as they have done since the Musicology tour, or if one day he'll try something else as he did the Ultimate Live Experience (1995) and One Nite Alone (2002) tours.

That said, elements of the night that stood out for me included:

1. Janelle Monae

A stunning opening act. Compelling songs (songs seem to hover in the pop-rnb genre; some guitar, horns too) and bucket loads of charisma (those facial expressions!). This set also included a version of Let's Go Crazy, meaning this song was performed twice in one night. This version was in the more traditional style and my girlfriend preferred it to the Reloaded version in Prince's setlist. Janelle gave her set everything she had. It would be easily worth attending a show of hers.

2. Doug E Fresh

Our old rapper friend came out after Janelle for some old school song DJing (albeit no rapping) to get the crowd going while the main stage was retooled for Prince's set. How interesting to see a man whom many associate with one of Prince's worst musical escapades (the 1999 remix album) be such a great asset at a Prince show. That he DJed toward the back of the venue was great for the folks such as us in the balcony who often feel a little alienated from performances.

3. Shelby J., Liv Warfield, and Elisa Dease

Incredible singers with powerful pipes, true talent. For me, not being too familiar with her, Elisa's voice particularly shone and she provided gorgeous harmonics to accompany Prince on several occasions.

4. Alternating between the NPG and 3rd Eye Girl

Some parts of the show featuring horn-dominated NPG, other parts just the stripped-down rock sound of 3rd Eye Girl; this was in contrast to concerts earlier this year which focussed entirely on one band or the other. As a fan of both sounds, but wary of a whole show of horns, this 2-band approach really worked for me. No sound outstayed its welcome.

5. Plectrum Electrum

After encore 2, the audience was filing out of the arena. As we were leaving, I was telling my girlfriend how Prince often does 1-4 encores and how he'll even let half the stadium empty before coming back (thinking of a performance of Endorphinmachine from this year). And then, lo and behold, there came a crashing guitar sound! We poured back into the stadium and for a few happy minutes saw Prince at ground level and in detail, contrasting with our balcony seats from the main show. "What is Plectrum Electrum?", said Prince; I speculated this short extra was letting us all know the new album is not far away.

You'll notice the above discusses other performers, but doesn't say much about Prince. To be honest, Prince was more or less the same as usual; no surprises but phenomenal as always, especially his stunning guitar work during Something in the Water, which was one of my favorite parts of the night.

On with some more critical elements that stood out for me during the night:

1. Cellphones

It astonished me to see so many people on their smartphones throughout the night. I assumed that paying $150+ to see one of the planet's most legendary performers would be captivating enough to put away the phone. I was wrong. Throughout the night, even during such popular highlights as Purple Rain, on every row there was at least one person (sometimes 3 or 4 people in a row) staring at their phone, sending text messages as a world-famous musician and talented band members labored away; an act of great disrespect in my view.

It's sad to witness the hypnotic power of these devices and what they are doing to our social environment. It was this kind of observation that inspired me to get rid of my cellphone several years ago; life has been better because of it.

2. Listening to audience recordings

Recently, I heard some audience recordings of Prince shows from earlier this year. To my disappointment, this significantly reduced my enjoyment of tonight's show; things were too familiar and unsurprising. I strongly recommend not listening to recordings of recent shows if you plan on attending one.

.

3. Dancing

Full enjoyment of music occurs when one's body movements merge with the sound itself. In other words: Dance! Much of Prince's music only makes sense when one physically engages with it. At tonight's show, my girlfriend and I danced as much as we could. It wasn't clear to me how much the non-dancing majority around us were getting out of sitting motionless and watching. If more people get up, it would surely be greatly enjoyable not only for the audience but for Prince and the band, who put so much effort into these shows.

4. On critiquing shows

My philosophy with anything one greatly looks forward to (and/or pays a great deal for) is simple: Enjoyment is the #1 priority. Forget wasting energy on nitpicking - just enjoy the show! Or if you can't enjoy yourself, don't waste your time and money by attending. Of course, critical analysis can be rewarding in its own way but I suggest this golden rule: Whatever your approach, enjoy yourself to the greatest possible degree and allow other people the same.

5. Volume

The others who joined me felt this show was too loud. Luckily, I had earbuds which filtered out a lot of noise. This is a quality of experience issue; overly loud music drowns out melody, dynamic range, and words. More seriously, this is a health issue: Music this loud can damage people's hearing. Two 5 year olds were sitting next to me (great to see children there!); it worried me that this concert could harm their ears.

If, as I've heard, the performer decides how loud the music is, then Prince himself needs to show some concern for people's health. He could either lower the volume or provide complementary earbuds at the door; my guests definitely would have used them.

6. On greatest hits shows

This is my third Prince hits show; I'm not sure how often I'd want to spend a lot of money to see the same songs performed again, even if with a different band and/or arrangement. This show made me wonder how many fans skip these shows and just attend afterparties, which are more intimate with set lists more appealing to fans. There's a whole Prince word of mouth grapevine and strategies for finding out and getting into afterparties, but it could be worth it.

That said, respect to Prince for obviously putting a lot of thought into striking a balance between catering for a mass audience and for fans. The former group outnumbers the latter by many times; therefore it only makes sense for greatest hits shows to be played more often. Playing obscure songs doesn't satisfy general audiences. However, this is a complex discussion with more nuance than what I've just said.

.

7. Small versus large shows

Everything has a size limit beyond which things don't work as well (democracy is a great example). This definitely applies to music. It becomes increasingly difficult for musicians to connect with audiences beyond a certain size. The physical distance between performers and audience creates alienation, sound must be so loud that its quality deteriorates, and set lists become increasingly popularist.

As with tonight's show, in many ways I've found shows with a 50-person audience and a band of far less talented performers more emotionally-engaging than I have Prince's stadium shows. Of course, there's nothing like a Prince show but how telling that a band you've never heard of, playing a small venue, could, for many people, rival a large-scale Prince show. There's a downside to Prince's enormous popularity.

And so, life goes on…

All that anticipation for the show… and then it's over and life rolls on. Prince's music has provided immeasurable entertainment for so many people, diehards and casual listeners. At the same time, there's more to life than just this one man and his art. Perhaps intense fandom consumes too many people and, over time, they become jaded by the experience. If that happens, we are better off switching off the computer, walking away, and making a difference in the world.

Happy new year!

[Edited 12/30/13 13:43pm]

....wise words, great report !! Thank you.

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Forums > Concerts > Janelle Monae and Prince Live 12/29 at Mohegan Sun!