Is there such a thing as being TOO close at a concert? I guess that depends on the stage and who’s mug or in this case (tiny rear end) you are staring at. I never regretting that single ticket in row A seat 1 for Sting at the Joint in Vegas but I don’t think the money would be well spend on someone I couldn’t swoon over like Meatloaf, actually he’s not that bad looking but you get my point. When you are ‘riding the rail’ wouldn’t you want to look at something as fine as this? Me too.
Item #23 on my Bucket List – check.
If you are a regular follower then you know I went to see Prince opening night of the Welcome 2 America Tour a few weeks ago and you may recall how I limped over to my blog to cry how I thought after I rushed the stage after the THIRD encore he was done when he in fact came back and played NINE MORE SONGS. I decided that day I had to go back and not only go back but I had to go BIG and here’s how it all went down.
Ticketmaster announces more shows have been added to Prince’s 21 Nights, a tour that literally lasts twenty one full nights. He’s done this in Paris and New York and London, where it was filmed for the reportedly cancelled OPUS project. PRINCE I AM STILL WAITING FOR MINE 2 years later by the way (more about that later). You can get the book still but the film footage remains deep in recesses of his vault like many other rumored works of art. The photography my Randee St. Nicholas is captivating.
I clear my morning appointments so I can have ample time to log in and warm up my fingers, never mind the fact that my network crashes an hour before tickets go on sale (palms begin to sweat ever so slightly). I take one last leering look at my Vision Board oh yea that’s right I have stared at that same photo of Prince for the past 5 years now. Once pinned to a tack strip above my desk for 3 of those years now remains permanently adhered to my board.
See the top left corner? Yep, him. This is a long post as it is, so lets leave it for another day – I am going to have to dig deep and talk about my discovery of Prince and censorship and the lack thereof when it came to the posters that came with my first album Controversy, oy vey, I was 13 folks.
It’s not that I have not seen Prince hold court before, in fact I saw him twenty years ago at the very same venue the place where the Lakers used to play before Staples Center was even built. I think it was the Lovesexxy Tour I can’t be certain, I remember there was a lot of screaming and a lot of lace running around on stage. Pure eighties goodness.
It was almost time for the ticket release.
11:57 hit refresh… nothing
11:58 hit refresh… nothing
11:59 hit refresh… nothing
12:00 pounding the refresh key
Weren’t the tickets supposed to go on sale at 12:00? They finally appear and what happened next was a blur. I liken buying tickets to taking speed, at least that’s how I imagine you feel. My heart is racing my pulse at double time with the focus of an eagle as I swoop down and snatch 2 VIP tickets. Mine mine mine.
I get VIP 2 (I will later observe that VIP 1 filled with celebs and industry peeps) I also get table 1 seats 1 and 2!! Yes we are basically sitting in an intimate section of maybe 50 with high top tables and bar stools. I check out and then the reality hits me. Not the one where I realize that I am finally going to see a show from front row of P-R-I-N-C-E and the New Power Generation, the part that in 30 days I am going to have to sell myself on a street corner to foot the bill. Gulp.
That’s how I roll.
Not the street corner, the BUYING of the STUFF. Impulsive.
Caution blasted and sent off on a long bon voyage with the wind I immediately begin the “planning stages” Earplugs? Check. Sitter? Check. Blow out? Check. Outfit? Time to hit the black hole I call the closet, absolutely no money for the rest of the year that we know now. Purple rhinestone lanyard holder? Check. Partner in crime? Someone who understands how I couldn’t let this night go by, she has been alerted to wear sensible shoes THIS TIME… because I don’t want her to trip on the way up the stairs to the stage. Do you hear me Kathleen?
I only had a week to wait that was the BEST part. No months of looking at the calendar hoping the day would magically move up closer. On that Saturday I made an appointment to get my blow out, the only instruction was to make sure my purple layers were showing, duh. Next stop Bobbi Brown counter (Nordstrom, Fashion Island) I tell you where because you will want to see my new friend Nadia Tyby. Nadia knows her stuff. As soon as I told her I was headed to Prince she said Get Out! followed by SIT DOWN!! When I whined I can’t do metallic I’m too old, she swiftly pointed out the opposite was actually true. I can and she applied them in layers and it looked goooood people. I told her that the mousy brown brow filler couldn’t possibly be MY shade, wrong again it was perfect. She applied layers of plums and gold even lining the INSIDE of my eye, I haven’t done that since high school people. My kids were going to freak! This also meant I was going to have to sport contacts (cringe). The things I do for Prince I tell ya.
So thirty minutes later I had some rockin eyes and a new quad palate… Happy Mother’s Day to me. I am happy to say I can now travel with one compact that has 2 shadows, blush and eyebrow filler. Done. Note to self keep 5 yr old away from makeup. I see you eying my new colors little miss. No touchy touchy.
A few hours later a/c cranked up on high, we frogger our way across lanes and then freeways and within 45 minutes we’re at the Forum about an hour BEFORE they even start letting people in, whoops. We both hadn’t eaten since breakfast and polish off a box of crackers I stashed for the ride. I figured for that much money there MUST be food for VIP tickets, right? wrong. Ask Matt Damon if he enjoyed the m n’m bowl.
We get there so early we have an hour to sit enjoying a gloriously warm Southern California day. Right in line with one of the runways at LAX we watched planes one after the other, another favorite past time of mine. You should have seen the 747’s come in … I even tried to capture one but I was a little late. Here is my attempt below. Mind you the plane was behind me and flying into the sun, I was completely shooting blind.
This is what I do when I’m bored. I take photos… lots of them.
We finally get into the VIP pre-party at the Forum Club, its a few steps downstairs directly underneath the arena Old skool. Nothing fancy just a lot of people looking at one another like ‘should I know you?’ Our bartender was the sweetest thing evah! We met another gal Lisa who bless her heart has just moved to CA from the eastcoast and decided to go to the show without a plus 1, a girl after my own heart. All the people we met (including Matt) were so nice, I think everyone was just truly excited to see the show. I met a pair of die hard fans who were at their 3rd show!!
Apparently Dave Grohl warmed up my corner spot at the bar the previous night. I always knew deep down he was a Prince fan, have you hear the Foo cover Darling Niikki? Oh Lord. (get Medium Rare – they finally release it on vinyl.)
We met Mike another great guy who gave us his LiveNation passes so we could scope out the other “VIP” room, it was rumoured that food was there. BUt when we poked our heads in there the only food was candy, eye candy …. ahem Matt Damon and his lovely wife. Oh yeah there was a bowl of chips, mnm’s and pretzels that people were pawing with their bare hands, not that it stopped us. We HAD to get something inside us to absorb (insert cute bartenders name) THREE SECOND pour… Good God that woman was generous.
We saw Prince’s assistant breeze through as well as Chaka Khan a lot of celebs that you know you know but can’t quite remember the name. Supposedly JT was there (to which Kathleen loudly called DIBS!) and Gwen Stephani, I always loved the duo she and Prince made, ‘So far So pleased’. Anyway on to the show.
Chaka Khan opened but we missed it, I know boo we didn’t realize there was an opening act because opening night there was none but she did come back on and belt one out with Prince, lucky for us. She is amazing. We made it around the stage and to the roped off section, rows of folded chairs behind us, we spotted an open table next to the stage, NEXT TO HIS PIANO and then we were escorted to THAT table.
We were told no photos. I am no stranger to Prince’s very strict rules, but I definitely noticed that he seemed a bit more realized about it this tour. Many of them in our section were running up to the edge of the stage and filming him. If you were really obnoxious you usually got a warning. I clearly remember more of a threat when I tried to take one 20 feet away back in 2005. This in mind I only snapped a couple and really tried to enjoy the show and dance my booty off. I took plenty of photos and shhhhh video during opening night so I had my fill. How lucky for me to have that opportunity I kept thinking. Someone pinch me or I’m going to reach up and pinch someone’s tiny glittery behind. He was THAT close. He did a 10 minute compilation from the piano and dance on top of it for what seemed like an eternity. My cheeks hurt from smiling.
He played until just after 11:30 with the usual suspects Shelia E. and her dad. We made sure we got the word straight from security that he was in his suite which meant nighty-night or time for AFTER PARTY y’all. We had only one after party pass between the two of us and a wall of security that wouldn’t show me any lenience. Never mind the supposed “Dodgers Scout” and the 6 foot 5 “friend of Prince and his 8 people entourage DIDN’T have passes… they all got in and I was told to go home. Clearly I carry no clout in Inglewood. Kathleen goes in and I try not get trampled in the aftermath. If I ever had a doubt who reappears but Ms. 1000 watt bulb flashing a brand new VIP pass for me. I don’t even want to know. We stayed until our feet, our ears and our livers could take no more. We crawled back to our car and headed home.
One more stop after a should we or shouldnt we and Kathleen will tell you it was a party in her mouth. How could we drive by this LANDMARK and not partake. I guess if you had just been on a juice cleanse for five days you’d might want to pass, so I took a bite and tucked it into her dashboard for later consumption. It was good but my body still upset about the VIP dinner of G&Ts and pretzels. I love LA. Good bye and goodnight. Oh yea one more thing… guess what the next day was? Easter. I knew coming home with the sunrise only hours away it was risky and riding out any holiday on a couple of hours of sleep is not without its discomforts, chocolate eggs help. But all ended well and I tip toed over a lawn of colored eggs and dodged a run in with the Easter Bunny. I closed my eyes for what seemed like 5 minutes and was dragged out of my cocoon of sheets onto the damp back patio. Yawn.
5 yr old: Look momma the Easter Bunny hid an egg here.
5 yr. old: I said the Easter Bunny….
5 yr. old: nevermind
Maybe the Eater Bunny can bring me earplugs next year.