Prince’s Australia Tour Begins With Vanity Dedication

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Nice passport pic!

Nice passport pic!

As soon as Prince announced he was taking his “Piano And A Microphone Tour” down under, eager fans scrambled to score tickets. The very brief ten performances on five dates tour kicks off on February 16th and 17th in Melbourne, heads to Sydney and then finishes up on the 24th in Auckland. Tickets sold out in a matter of minutes, and the only ones remaining at this point are upwards of $700 – ultra-fancy VIP options featuring the full red carpet experience, complete with cocktail party and special merchandise to commemorate the occasion.

But some fans that paid that hefty price thinking they had seats in the first few rows found out their tickets were, in fact, for rows 6-15. The Sydney Morning Herald reported in its February 17th edition that Ticketmaster has offered $100 gift cards as compensation, a small consolation: “One VIP holder who didn’t want to be named paid $1500 for two front-row tickets and received an email on Tuesday confirming her front-row seats EE 7-8.”

Here’s video of Prince (and his piano and microphone) from Tuesday night’s opening performance, and sounding amazing. He dedicates the third song, “Little Red Corvette,” to his former protege Denise Matthews (aka Vanity), who died on February 15th at 57.

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Prince “Piano and a Microphone” February 16, 2016 Setlist:
1. “Big City”
2. “Ruff Enuff”
3. “Little Red Corvette”
4. “Dirty Mind”
5. “Money Don’t Matter 2 Night”
6. “Waiting in Vain” (Bob Marley & The Wailers cover)
7. “If I Was Your Girlfriend”
8. “How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore”
9. “The Ladder”
10. “1000 X’s & O’s”
11. “When She Comes”
12. “Satisfied”
13. “I Love U in Me”
14. “Sometimes it Snows in April”
15. “Automatic”
16. “The Beautiful Ones”
Encore
17. “Raspberry Beret”
18. “Starfish and Coffee”
19. “Paisley Park”
20. “Adore”

It isn’t the first time Prince has surprised fans with a last-minute tour announcement. He did the same thing back in 2014 with his “Hit And Run” tour, playing a number of small venues with little to no notice. (For yet another example of Prince’s penchant for going his own way, check out Best Classic Bands’ recent article about the classic rock icon’s perspective on streaming services here.)

After the November terror attacks in Paris, Prince scrapped the European leg of his “Piano And A Microphone Tour,” much to the disappointment of fans. At the end of January, however, he gave two of his most intimate offerings yet – performances at his personal estate in Minnesota. The shows were a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see Prince play solo versions of tunes culled from his 39-album catalog with – yes, you guessed it – just a piano and a microphone. February shows in Australia and New Zealand may not be held in Prince’s personal studio, but they will maintain the same kind of stripped-down intimacy. Expect renditions of well-known hits as well as rarely performed B-sides and never-before-heard material, performed on smoky, sparsely decorated stages.

John Giddings, organizer of English festival Isle of Wight, reports that the funk-rock icon may even play some Jimi Hendrix covers – although the ever-elusive Prince has since denied these claims in all caps on Twitter. Let’s hope Prince chooses to bring the tour to other continents.

Prince’s “Piano And A Microphone” Tour Dates:
February 16 – State Theatre, Melbourne (Two performances)
February 17 – State Theatre, Melbourne (Two performances)
February 20 – Opera House, Sydney (Two performances)
February 21 – State Theatre, Sydney (Two performances)
February 24 – ASB Theatre, Auckland (Two performances)

Best Classic Bands Staff
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