Dearly Beloved: Fans mourn and reflect on Prince’s last concert in Atlanta
No one imagined that it would be the last time Prince would perform, when they saw him during his stop in Atlanta last week, April 14, 2016, after a 12 year hiatus. Prince’s “Piano and a Microphone” tour was a flawless display of his artistry. Like the show’s title suggests, it was just him, his piano and a purple strobe light beaming down as he played. The backdrop was a screen with illustrations of various images of the artist that dissolved into a collage of his various looks and album covers through the decades.
Prince was a vibrant example of genius who negotiated both God and sex into his music as never seen before. His songs were a blend of prayer and foreplay. He made spirituality and sex coexist – as they should.
Prince was magical.
Prince was a free man.
Fans witnessed this display of freedom when he played his last two shows at 7pm and 10pm at The Fox Theatre, downtown Atlanta. Both were sold out. He poured his heart out in an intimate setting with no band and no backup singers – only his free Black-self donning a natural Afro.
“The setting was intimate and it was an amazing event,” commented Marla Pruitt, a motivational speaker and accountability coach.
“The opportunity to see him live and performing alone was life changing. The image of him sitting at the piano will be forever embedded in my brain,” she said.
That evening, as he played a 90 minute medley of songs from his iconic catalog, he discussed, love, relationships and social issues. He also reminded the crowd that #BlackLivesMatter. Throughout the show he made several references to his pending memoir about his life. Upon hearing the news of his passing, fans expressed disbelief.
“It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning at the age of 57,” said his publicist Yvette Noel-Schure.
On social media the sentiments poured out across the virtual world.
@FrankWrenn: “One week ago today, I was excited to see Prince perform at the Fox. No one could know that his Atlanta performance would be his last”
@IamRickyChin: “Prince did Marley’s waiting in vain in his last performance. Piano only.”
While fans were told not to snap photos or record videos some were able to capture a few images and shared them online during the show and then again one week later with their expressions of grief.
Actress Holly Robinson Peete tweeted, “In Atlanta now where Prince performed his last show. My heart is shattered. Cannot process.”
One of Prince’s final tweets immediately after his Atlanta performance reads: I am #transformed
We too are transformed “your Royal Highness.” So are we!
The FINAL SET-LIST
• When Will B Paid
• The Max
• Black Sweat
• I Would Die 4 U
• Baby, I’m a Star
• Ballad of Dorothy Parker
• B-side Song (Indifference)
• I Love U But I Don’t Trust U
• Little Red Corvette
• It was a non-stop onslaught of songs;
• Dirty Mind
• Linus and Lucy (The Peanuts theme)
• back to Little Red Corvette
• Nothing Compares 2 U
• Black Muse
• How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore
• Waiting In Vain (Bob Marley)
• If I Was Ur Girlfriend
• back to Waiting In Vain
• back to If I Was Ur Girlfriend
• Sometimes It Snows In April
• Purple Rain (the crowd goes nuts)
• The Beautiful Ones
• back to Purple Rain
• Diamonds & Pearls
• back to Purple Rain