3-Part Series of Prince’s Piano & A Microphone reviews

From the cover of the Piano & A Microphone Tour Book

In January 2016, I made the trek from Oakland, California to Chanhassen, Minnesota to attend Prince’s Piano and A Microphone Gala at Paisley Park. But really, this journey started in 1983 when I was only 10 years old…

Every Prince show I attend is special. However, this one felt even more special, because there I was in Minnesota. For the first time. Finally. At Paisley Park. Specifically to see Prince.

In 1983, when I was in the fifth grade, Prince had a concert at the Oakland Coliseum. I had never even been to a concert but boy did I want to be at that one. It was on a Friday night so we were in class earlier that day. My friend Alicia was very upset that we wouldn’t be attending. She wore all purple to school that day (pants, shirt, socks, shoes and even her hair ties). She was taking it hard, poor girl! She moped around in class all day and even shed some tears. Our teacher Mrs. King finally got fed up, kicked her out of class and sent her to the Principal’s office. I just quietly kept my emotions to myself. Later on as we sat around sulking, we came up with a plan to see Prince once and for all.

My friends Alicia and Nicole talked me into this brilliant plan: We’d ask our families to go on a nice big family day trip across the bridge to San Francisco. We knew San Francisco was a busy and bustling place. We’d wait until we were in the midst of all our family fun in the busiest part of town and then the three of us would run off together getting ‘lost’ from our group. It would take them some time to search for us in the big crowded city. We would have time to get away! We were heading on out to Minnesota to track down Prince. It was going to be great! He would probably give us a private concert and let us hang out with him every day and everything! We just knew it! And that was the gist of our brilliant plan.

Forget that we were only 10 years old with no money, no transportation, no navigation plan, no place to stay and that our families weren’t even close like that and would not want to go on a group trip together. Forget that the three of us could have just met outside around the corner from our houses right there in Oakland to do our ‘running off’. I felt horrible that my family would be so worried about me which is why my friends had to talk me into agreeing in the first place. I finally decided that I was in! I was down for the cause. I would go, but would be sure to call the very second I got there to ease my worried loved ones’ minds. I would apologize profusely and hopefully I would be forgiven at some point. Clearly our plan made zero sense (10 year olds are crazy!). All we knew was that we needed to get to Prince. Of course we never managed to get our ‘run away road trip’ together.

So I had to laugh to myself as my plane landed in Minnesota. Here I am some 30+ years later.

All that to say, out of the many countless Prince shows that I’ve attended over the years; traveling and flying included, I really wanted to write a review for this one in particular. Then just one month later, he popped up in Oakland and blessed us with two back to back shows at the Paramount. And then… not even a full week later we got yet another show at the Oracle Arena. Oakland was just PrincePrincePrincePrincePrincePrincePrince from Feb 28th-March 4th! All of these shows were part of the Piano and A Microphone tour. Since I attended all of them, I decided to do write-ups for them as well, to go along with my Paisley Park review. I like consistency 🙂

So… I have a ‘series’. Three reviews total. Click on the three links below:

Paisley Park 1/21/2016

Paramount Theatre2/28/2016

Oakland Arena 3/4/2016

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