Who cares if it's midnight on a Sunday and you're dead tired after spending the day drinking beers at the beach. When your boss texts you that she's gotten you on the guest list for a show that His Royal Badness just MIGHT show up at (no guarantees!) you get out of bed, throw on your favorite purple linen shirt and RALLY.
The scene at City Winery—where Prince's backing band the New Power Generation is in the midst of a six night "Purple Week" run—was a mix of post-VMA revelers in sky-high heels, middle aged bankers in untucked button downs, and assorted hip thirtysomethings who were all collectively wondering if Prince would actually show up (and once again, bouncers were chomping at the bit to remove anybody with the temerity to film any of the proceedings).
At about 1 a.m., the NPG began warming the crowd up with an assortment of brass driven funk and guests ranging from the inventor of both the human beat box (and "The Dougie" dance craze) Doug E. Fresh, Cee Lo Green (who served up a tight cover of "U Got The Look"), and Sly and the Family Stone bassist Larry Graham. But as 2 a.m. turned to 2:30 a.m., and then to 3 a.m., some in the crowd started to give up hope. Needless to say, they shouldn't have.
— Vanita Salisbury (@djtannerismymom) August 26, 2013
At 3:15 a.m. the afroed Prince strode on stage clad in a black jumpsuit, gold chains and disco sunglasses. Unlike his performance on Thursday night where he only played roughly eight songs, The Purple One and his plethora of backing horns had the crowd in perpetual motion for nearly 3 hours as he ran through favorites like "1999," "Take Me With U," "Raspberry Beret," Janet Jackson's "What Have You Done For Me Lately," "Nothing Compares 2 U," "The Beautiful Ones" along with a slew of call and response, New Orleans-funked up jazz. (Here's a set list.)
As 6 a.m. drew closer and hints of sun started to filter in through the front windows of City Winery there was a tangible feeling that Prince had created a single breathing, dancing, sweating entity out of the maybe 300 people in the crowd. Yeah, even the scions of Hedge Fund Land who were frozen still at 2:30 a.m. were dancing with an out of control fervor. It was no longer Sunday but it felt like church. A funky purple one led by a little man with endless talent.