Prince took the stage Wednesday night to complete a three-night residency at the United Center, dubbed “Welcome 2 Chicago,” and while the reviews have been positive (Tuesday night’s show), and rather negative (the first show of residency Monday night), the “Purple One” wanted to make sure the Chicago stop was remembered for all the right reasons.
Taking the stage a little before 9 pm after an opening set from singer Janelle Monae, Prince immediately powered through the hits, before funking things up with the New Power Generation Band and a horn section. Closing the show was a 12-minute rendition of “Purple Rain,” and some advice for the crowd: “Somebody once said that people want credit for things they are supposed to do. Stop looking for credit. We are supposed to take care of one another,” as confetti poured over the crowd.
As was the case on opening night, there was a little confusion when it came time for the encores, as it appeared that a back-up singer grabbed a microphone and said the show was over. As the house lights went up, some fans headed for the exits, while many stayed in their seats waiting for Prince to re-emerge. Sure enough, he came out riding a bicycle (!), and powered through a medley of songs on piano, before leaving again, only to re-emerge with his full band and fans from the front section for a jam session that including a few of the hit songs he wrote for other artists in the ’80s (“Jungle Love,” “A Love Bizarre”). When the house lights again went up,the DJ began to play, the breakdown began, and the Welcome 2 Chicago residency was history, but not before Prince proclaimed, “I think this was the best one.”
Setlist: “Controversy” “Lets Go Crazy” “Delirious” “1999″ “Little Red Corvette” “Take Me With U” (with Janelle Monae) “Raspberry Beret” “Cream” (with Maceo Parker) “Cool”/”Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” “Joy in Repetition” “The Ryde Dyvine” “Let’s Work” “Extralovable” “U Got the Look” “Everyday People” “Mountains” “Dance Electric” “Purple Rain” Encore #1: Piano Set (only Prince): “How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore”/”Do Me Baby”/”I Wanna Be Your Lover” Encore #2: “The Bird”/”Jungle Love”/”Love Bizarre”/”Glamourous Life”
Steven Koscik / 104.3 K-Hits