Prince began his epic stint in London last night with an epic show at the O2 Dome. After playing a hits-packed, two-and-a-half-hour long set, Prince also appeared onstage at the aftershow party, jamming with his band.
The little fella and the latest, horn-heavy incarnation of the New Power Generation (featuring JBs alumnus Maceo Parker) played on a stage in the centre of the Dome, shaped like the Symbol which Prince used instead of his name in the 1980s.
Opening with “Purple Rain”, much of the set featured songs from his ’80s zenith, including “Girls And Boys”, “U Got The Look”, “Controversy”, “Kiss”, “If I Was Your Girlfriend”, “Take Me With U” and “I Feel 4 U”.
He and his band also played covers of The Beatles’ “Come Together”, Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” and Chic’s “Le Freak”, amongst many others.
“You don’t think that’s it, do you?” Prince told the crowd during one of many encores. “I’ve got more hits than Madonna has kids.” The final encore happened when the houselights were on and the audience were leaving. Prince walked through the auditorium, climbed onstage and played solo versions of “Little Red Corvette” and “Raspberry Beret”. He then disappeared through a trapdoor, only to reappear with the band for further funk jams.
The jams continued two and a half hours later in the O2 Indigo venue, when the New Power Generation played the first aftershow party of the residency. Led by Parker and Candy Dulfer, they were joined at 2am by Prince, who wandered on and off the stage for the next hour, adding the occasional guitar solo and eventually singing “3121”.
Prince’s residency at the O2 Dome tomorrow (Friday). He is expected to finally stop playing at some indistinct point in September.