Prince fans—and, really, who isn’t?—invariably treasure their memories of His Royal Badness at the height of his powers, live onstage. Reeling from the news of his death yesterday at age 57, Jerry Mickelson, co-founder of local concert promoters Jam Productions, emailed a list this morning of the many shows his company promoted by the artist in Our Town.
Me, I vividly recall six of these gigs, on top of another half-dozen times I saw the artist live in my native New Jersey/New York, as well as in his hometown of Minneapolis (where I lived for two stints in the ’90s). To be sure, all of those shows were not spectacular: The gig at the Riv below stands out because Prince was enamored at the time of the lame New Age musician Najee, and he turned over way too much of his set to that bozo. And for some reason, at that Chicago Theatre show in ’93, he gave a long and very sad cameo to actor Malcom Jamal-Warner of The Cosby Show, who inexplicably thought he could rap.
The rest, though, were stellar, with that late show at Metro in particular coming in a very close second only to the Aragon gig I wrote about yesterday.
How many of these shows were you at?
2/28-29/80 Headliner: Rick James; Support: Prince; Venue: Uptown Theater
12/19/80 Headliner: Prince; Support: Teena Marie; Venue: Uptown Theater
3/24/81 Headliner: Prince; Venue: Park West
12/5/81 Headliner: Prince; Support: The Time; Venue: Arie Crown
12/9-11/82 Headliner: Prince; Support: The Time, Vanity 6; Venue: Auditorium Theatre
4/10/83 Headliner: Prince; Support: Vanity 6; Venue: UIC Pavilion
12/9-14/84 Headliner: Prince; Support: Sheila E; Venue: Rosemont Horizon
9/17-19/88 Headliner: Prince; Venue: Rosemont Horizon
4/4-6/93 Headliner: The Artist Formerly Known as Prince; Venue: Chicago Theater
6/28/97 Headliner: The Artist Formerly Known as Prince; Venue: United Center
4/24/98 Headliner: The Artist Formerly Known as Prince; Support: Larry Graham, Chaka Khan; Venue: Aragon Ballroom
11/16/00 Headliner: Prince; Venue: Riviera Theatre
11/16/00 Headliner: Prince; Venue: Metro (late show)
3/2-3/01 Headliner: Prince; Venue: Chicago Theatre