Oh yes indeed he did.
For three hours I stood not more than thirty feet from the stage at Paisley Park as Prince put on a truly stupendous display of guitar genius and breathtaking showmanship. He literally didn't set his guitar down all night--unless it was to change to a different one for another soaring, seemingly effortless solo.
Over the course of three hours, the crowd of several hundred was treated to countless gems from Prince's vast back catalog. Even the venerable 1999, ostensibly retired ten years ago, got the full treatment, right down to the "Mommy, why does everybody have a bomb?" line. I was delirious. (Pun intended.)
There were covers aplenty, too, including the rather touching inclusion of Dancin' Machine and Shake your Body Down to the Ground, by the Jacksons. Prince never explicitly addressed Michael Jackson's death, but in all the times I've seen the purple one in concert since the '80s, this was the first-ever Jackson cover I'd heard. It was a clear tip of the hat to a departed peer.
In the last hour of the show, Prince burned a swath through numerous tunes he'd written for his proteges over the years, including Sheila E's The Glamorous Life, as well as The Time's big hits, Cool, The Bird, and Jungle Love ("I've been waiting to bust this one out all night," he announced with glee. "I wrote 'em all, I might as well play 'em!"
It was hard to keep count, but Prince played close to forty songs. My feet were killing me by the end of the night. (Speaking of feet--Prince wasn't wearing his trademark high heels, opting instead for somewhat more restrained platform flats(!)--with blinking LED lights in the heels.)
Some highlights of the night:
It was, in short, the best concert I have ever attended, and easily one of the most memorable nights of my life.
Now I'm forever spoiled--no stadium performance will ever measure up to those three incredible hours at Paisley Park.
Not bad for $31.21 a ticket...
PS. No, I did not take the picture above. No cell phones were allowed into the building. This shot was taken at a show in Paris last week. But you get the idea.
As promised, here are a few more photos from our time in the mountains.
One of the nostalgic highlights of the trip for my dad and me was our visit to St. John's College, where he got his MA. I still remember it well from the summer I spent there when I was five years old.
The windows of the second floor unit where we lived. We looked out over the mountains.
The koi pond outside the student center. Two-year-old brat Rhys Fitzpatrick pushed me into it while our parents were eating lunch. The pond seemed quite deep to me at the time. It isn't.
Darren chills outside the college bookstore. The wall looked just the same in 1972.
On Friday we drove further up into the mountains to spend the day in Taos. I snapped this pic on my iPhone from the moving car, but it still turned out pretty well.
The Taos Pueblo, where we strolled for an hour through the ancient community's adobe buildings
The cemetery at the edge of the Pueblo
Packs of dogs kept a close eye on the tourists. We gave them a wide berth.
Splashes of bright color dotted the community.
Native crafts and baked goods were available for sale throughout the Pueblo.
After leaving the Pueblo, we headed a few miles outside of Taos to visit the Rio Grand Gorge Bridge. It's a mighty big crack in the ground, 600 feet deep.
WG does his best to look nonchalant with a chasm yawning behind him...
A variety of vendors sell food and trinkets in the wide spot in the road on either side of the bridge.
Some offerings were less appealing than others...
A bright desert sky on the drive back to Santa Fe
Still to come, too much booze, up close and personal with Georgia O'Keeffe, and a few last odds and ends...
I'm back from Santa Fe, and I'm tan. The four days Darren and I spent with my dad and Marijo really flew by. (Well the time in New Mexico did--the travel itself was rather arduous.)
We had perfect weather for the whole trip--bright sun and temps in the '70s. I'll be showing off pictures for a few posts. Hope you don't mind...
Our casita, perfectly situated a few blocks from the Plaza
Darren makes a friend (that's his JACKET he's holding in front of him, BTW...)
Strolling along the Plaza
The Palace of the Governors, where I spent $60 on a native-made copper bracelet that turned my wrist green and gave me a mild rash. I still like it, though.
St. Francis Cathedral
Two queens and a saint
Cowboy WG does some shoppin'
As I've mentioned here before, when I was five years old, I spent a summer there when my dad started a three-summer long MA program at St. John's University, shown here.
My dad hasn't been back since the mid-1970's, and I'm eager to see what he thinks of the city after all this time.
Darren and I enjoyed a lovely trip to Santa Fe six years ago, and I was amazed at how well I remembered the city from my time there as a child. I was even able to find the dorm where I lived back in the summer of 1972.
Here's a pic of me from back them. I haven't changed a bit, have I?
Expect plenty of pictures when I get back...
As I've written recently, I've been struggling for some time with a lack of motivation to keep blogging.
Just over three years ago, I was stuck in a mindless, dead-end job, so I started WoolGatherer as a creative outlet for sharpening my writing chops and regularly dumping the contents of my head.
Now that I've got an engaging but mentally draining job writing web content, at the end of the day, I just don't feel like coming home to do more blogging.
As much I appreciate the kind and witty comments my readers leave, keeping WoolGatherer going has become a chore--"Oh man, what will I write about today?"--and a source of guilt. Any writer knows the feeling that "I should be writing and I'm not."
Huh, that's sort of what it felt like when I was working on my dissertation, and we know how that turned out.
What to do?
I've seriously considered just pulling the plug, but after three years, WoolGatherer is an important part of my life, and it's also a fairly impressive archive of my thoughts and silly musings.
So I'm sticking around.
I'm sticking around because I realize that I still want a place to post pictures from my travels, show off my latest knitting triumphs, jot down my thoughts about books or films I've enjoyed, and connect with other bloggers and the readers who drop in to check me out. WoolGatherer has brought me new friends all over the country, and I hope to continue meeting cool people like Jimbo, Jesse, Mel, to name just a few.
I've decided to strike a compromise. I'll only post if I feel like it.
That might mean weeks go by between posts. Or maybe I'll post three days in a row. We'll just have to see.
(Now, brace yourself...)
The boys and I had a good run, but we've reached the end of the road.
Finally, even though I'll be spending less time hanging around WoolGatherer, I'm very active on Facebook (Sean Dilley) and Twitter (SeanWG). Feel free to Friend or follow. I'll be quick to reply.
Thanks for reading all this time, but keep an eye on your RSS feed. I can't stay quiet too long.
WoolGatherer claims no rights to the images of models posted on this blog. If the owner(s) of the respective images do not wish for their work to be displayed on this site, the photos will be removed upon emailed request.
All opinions expressed on this blog, no matter how ridiculous or perverse, are solely those of the author.