It’s been many hours and nearly one full day…
since Prince and 3RDEYEGIRL left the audience from their second night in Manchester dripping in an adrenaline of black sweat and a glow of funk and roll.
This was the second night in a row the band played Manchester Academy.
3RDEYEGIRL, made up of Donna (guitar), Hannah (drums) and Ida (bass) came out at 8PM to an already hype crowd – there’s a certain energy when you know Prince Rogers Nelson is behind a curtain.
Then the rock began to rumble, and that instantly recognisable voice began singing as 3RDEYEGIRL got into the groove. Every neck craned to see Prince’s entrance as he walked cooly centre-stage. The night was young.
Prince could feel the love. The crowd was definitely giving it back to him singing every song with him; cheering as he relayed that love on to the fantastic band. Everyone cheered as 3RDEYEGIRL tore the roof off, this was the ultimate jam session. My eyes were back and forth trying to absorb the ethereal atmosphere of watching Prince sit and play as the band rocked high to the heavens to classics and new songs alike ranging from She’s Always in my Hair to Something In the Water. I’ll never forget him incorporating “Man – CHESTER” into his many songs consistently thanking the fans.
The heat in the crowd continued to rise. Although quite far back, this was an intimate venue and when Prince looked into the audience I felt his gaze reach my eye and touch my soul. When he told the crowd to sway side-to-side I was compelled to follow his beat. At points he coyly pointed at fans and told them to put their technology down and clap.
It was clear that Prince is built on a foundation of rhythm. It oozes out of him so naturally.
When the band said their first goodnight and left the stage before 10PM, they’d been playing around an hour and a half. I’d heard the legendary stories of Prince playing hours over UK curfews so I knew he’d come back for an encore. What I didn’t expect is for him to come back for 6-8 encores – I lost count.
There were points of the show I couldn’t see the band or Prince, but hearing him sit and perform The Beautiful Ones was an experience to cherish even if the image I see of him is just his face, far away on stage, an image encapsulated in between a sea of swaying arms. I could see his shadow above my head as I looked to the ceiling.
It was an incredible set list. As he came out for one of the many encores he warned us that with the amount of hits he has, we could be here all night. The crowd were up for that!
It is a night imprinted in my soul, the energy rocked me to the core and the love and respect Prince showed the fans is evident in them all, old and new.
Prince fans have shown their true purple colours via the Prince Army on twitter. I have watched them all rally together and support each other to get to venues, swap tickets and beat the ticket touts over social media.
He rewarded this dedication and came out to every encore request. He brought up on stage those who had queued for hours in the Manchester cold, rain and hail.
Seeing his hard-core fans jamming on stage with their hero is such a highlight – and Prince fans can dance – especially the guy with a beard, who Prince joked looked like Mumford and Sons.
Over 3 hours of pure energy, a term Prince kept repeating – this was Funk n Roll. 3RDEYEGIRL and Prince, they rocked us, they funked us, they brought the house down.