Paisley Ultimate Experience Review
I did the ultimate tour last week. The bottom line is the tour is great for newbies. The tour is largely the same as it was for the past year, so it may not be worth it for veterans.
The biggest issue is that there is still not nearly enough exclusive vault audio and video on the tour. If the Estate works with Paisley by giving them more exclusive access, then Paisley will thrive. If they continue in this direction, it will eventually struggle because it will lose the repeat traffic that it needs to survive.
I would say that in the 3 hour tour that we get maybe 20 minutes of exclusive Prince video/audio, and most of that has been shown since they opened in 2016. We need at least 1 hour of exclusive material and it needs to rotate so that they get more repeat traffic. Here are some highlights from the tour:
- I talked to the director who said that the celebration is planned for June 2021.
- They are remodeling the Superbowl Room, so it was closed.
- Still playing clip from Musicology (DC soundcheck, Milwaukee, etc) in video editing room. Also played Guitar (maybe Belgium) and Nothing Compares 2 U (Zenith), which was nice.
- Need to play more exclusive content in Studio A, B and C. Way too little music played in the studios. Still playing very short clip of Breakdown and Rock & Roll Love Affair in studio B. Still playing same Ruff Enuff clip in Studio A that they were playing in 2016 and the short Rave era interview. Nice to see Plectrum Electrum video in Studio C, but would be nice to see something not officially available on other platforms.
- A few new artifacts were available like his gun microphone, the red pajama jacket from UTCM, the guitar from his first videos/tour, some additional handwritten documents, clothing, etc.
- We were able to walk into the kitchen, but the barriers did not make it much different from looking at it through the glass.
- The Lovesexy room was not open.
- They do a really good job with the soundstage. Probably the highlight of the tour.
- As a fan since 1980, I cringe whenever the focus is on 1984, but the tour must include a full live performance of Purple Rain. That is what most people want to see. The one from 2015 in Belgium when he talks about Paisley Park is the one they should use.
- The merchandise section was really lacking. I think they were trying to unload old stuff. The store in the airport has much more stuff.
- They offered us a bottle of water or a can of pop at the end of the tour. In the past, they gave us smoothies. For $160, I feel like they could do a better job than a bottle of water for a 3 hour tour.
- We took the photos in Studio B in masks. I think they need to change with the times and offer something different from a photo because no one really wants a photo in a mask.
- Sadly, Paisley Park now smells like coffee and does not smell like Prince.
- Lastly, the highlight of any Paisley visit is the Riley Creek Tunnel and the fence. So much love there. I feel like the spirit of Paisley Park is in that tunnel and on that fence . . . Admission is easy, just say you believe . . .
[Edited 8/11/20 12:43pm]
[Edited 8/11/20 19:10pm]
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