Day 2 of the Celebration at Paisley Park ended at the un-Princely hour of 9:50 p.m. Friday. The Purple One usually didn’t hit the stage in his own house till after midnight.
So what was a Prince fan in Minneapolis to do on the night of the first anniversary of his death?
Head to First Avenue for the late-night dance party.
I arrived just before DJ Jake Rudh wrapped up his set. He stopped the music, got on the mic and explained. “My last two songs are a bit on the emotional side. You can’t dance to them. But they must be played.”
With that, he spun “The Beautiful Ones” and “Purple Rain,” complete with footage from the movie.
The dancefloor was packed with revelers who looked a generation younger than most of the folks at Paisley Park’s Celebration. Maybe the First Ave-goers couldn’t afford the tickets to the $500-$1,000 four-day event in Chanhassen but wanted to celebrate the hometown hero on this significant night.
Two Twin Cities women I encountered mentioned that’d they been at First Avenue exactly 365 days ago.
When “Purple Rain” came on, the crowd woo-who’ed much louder than the 1,000 fans at Paisley Park had earlier on Friday during two separate performances (daytime and evenings) of the same song by the Revolution.
The footage on the screen was actually shot on the same stage behind the screen back in 1983. It was trippy to watch the live audience wave their arms in unison with the fans on film (extras, actually) who were at First Ave when the movie was made.
It was a cellphone moment.
Then as 1 a.m. struck. DJ Lenka Paris took over on the main stage, with a purple motorcycle festooned with a Prince symbol parked in front of her turntables. The party continued until the dawn, or at least 4 a.m.