I must say that this is the most disappointed I have ever been following a Prince-related event. Unlike some, I initially had no hope of seeing Prince at this performance - and that was fine. I knew that I paid $35+$12 in convenience fees for a CD listening party for Andy Allo with special guests the New Power Generation Band. However, when all was said and done I felt extremely unappreciated and taken advantage of. I felt that I wasted more than four hours of my life and ruined what could have been an otherwise enjoyable Sunday night. The only thing that could have salvaged part of the night would have been a performance by Prince.
Someone needs to inform Prince of how a listening party works, especially one for what is basically a new artist. Yes, this is Ms. Allo's second album but how many people have heard let alone purchased her first? She is a relative unknown outside of the Prince fanbase. Tonight, some of Prince’s hardcore fans showed their support for an artist that he is pushing and he couldn’t have cared less about us.
Seriously, how many new artists wait until 3 and 1/2 hours after the door time on the ticket to appear at their own listening party?
Andy Allo appeared on stage at approximately 10:30 p.m. despite the door time on the tickets being listed as 7 p.m. and the showtime being listed as 8 p.m. I know that concerts sometimes start late, but seriously - she came on 2 and 1/2 hours after the scheduled showtime. I don't remember ever waiting that long for Prince.
Even when he is unbelievably late, Prince usually makes up for it with a killer performance. Ms. Allo showed up, announced that she was going to play her CD and come out to talk to us every now and then. The CD then began playing through the sound system as the audience stood listening in the dark - literally and figuratively. She barely intro'ed the songs, nor said anything about what they were about or who wrote them, etc.
After the CD finished playing in its entirety, the NPG came out and she sang ONE song live with the band - People Pleaser. That was it. She then said, "See you tomorrow night for the full show."
Really? If this was any indication of what the “Purple After Jams” will be like, I am really going to regret the 3-day pass that I bought.
I do not know how much more completely inconsiderate of the audience's time Prince and Andy Allo could have been. It was a Sunday night. Many people had to work in the morning. We paid for a listening party and performance that was supposed to begin at 8 p.m. and this is what we got?
Allo didn't apologize for the wait. Nor did she try to ingratiate herself to the audience with any real sense of gratitude or humility. Instead, she came out as if she were Prince. It is inexcusable for him to make fans wait as if our time means nothing. But Andy Allo? Are you kidding me?
Although there were probably only a few hundred people in attendance, we had to wait outside in the cold until about 8:45 p.m. when they finally started to let us enter the venue. What happened to doors at 7 p.m.?
Next, people stood for another 90 minutes and listened to a DJ play a really nice mix of Prince songs and random R&B and Pop hits from the 1970s-1990's until Andy finally came out. Why couldn't her CD have played during this time? This was supposed to be a “listening party” after all. Again, why the long wait? Was Ms. Allo still asleep at the hotel? Was she having dinner? Did she know that people were waiting for her? The long wait was completely inexcusable to me.
When she finally arrived, she played her CD for about an hour. During which she would just leave the stage for two or three songs at a time, and the CD only has about 9 or 10 tracks. Then around 11:30 the NPG came out and she joined them for People Pleaser. Afterward, the NPG did four random cover songs, which included Luther's "Never Too Much," Stevie's "Superstition" and E.U.'s "Da Butt." And that was it. THAT. WAS. IT.
The [somewhat] positives
Andy Allo's CD isn't bad. There were a few songs that were cool. However, given the length of time it took to hear it and the setting, it didn't go over well with any of the people I talked to. Most of them called it boring and were complaining about the wait. There were even some faint boos when the night was officially over.
The band is tight and sounded good, though the sax and guitar solos were a bit overdone. The bass player was putting it down. I prefer him to Ida.
Andy is a pretty girl with some stage presence, though she is becoming more and more a Prince mime. Her mannerisms mimic his in the way that Sheila did when she first came out as a solo artist under his tutelage. However, it is clear that Andy is not naturally funky.
Andy's fro, dress and boots were fierce, though she needs to toss that Parade-era hat.
The DJ’s choice of Prince songs was great because it was not limited to the standards. He played Hide the Bone, Sexual Suicide, Dirty Mind, Good Life, Freaks on this Side, 319 and other lesser-knowns.
I arrived at 8 p.m. so I only wasted about 4.5 hours of my time.
[Edited 9/24/12 1:18am]
perfection is a fallacy of the imagination...