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All I Wanted for Christmas Was Prince

… and I got my Christmas wish!

Last Saturday my Mom and I went to see the Prince Welcome to Canada Tour in Victoria. Seeing Prince live has been on my bucket list for about 2 decades so when I found out he was coming to Canada (and my hometown!) I knew I HAD to go. However, due to some other financial commitments (and the fact that I always do everything at the last minute), we put off buying tickets. By the time we were ready to purchase tickets, the show had sold out of all the affordable seats and the only ones left were in the $175+ range – definitely way outside of the budget of a freelance writer & her mom. One of my personality quirks is that once I have my heart set on something, I don’t easily take “no” as an answer. Late Thursday night, while we were sitting in the living room, feeling disappointed, resigned to the fact we would not be seeing Prince, I decided “There has to be a way!” I whipped out my laptop and started cruising craigslist for tickets. By Friday afternoon, I had tracked down two awesome, discounted tickets and my Mom & I were in her mini-van driving half an hour outside of the city to pick them up. All I can say is that it was so, SO worth it. Saturday was such an amazing night and probably the best concert I have ever seen.

Just to be clear, I’m a child of the 80’s so I’m talking about THIS Prince:

Not this Prince.

(I am not familiar with Will’s musical skills however, I’m sure seeing him in person would be cool…. just not as cool as the Prince I saw.)

Cameras and photos weren’t allowed during the concert but I managed to snap a photo of the stage before the show. It’s shaped like the “symbol”!

We were only about 40 or 50 feet from the stage which meant we could see everything. I’m pretty sure the last concert I went to with my Mom included a rendition of “The Wheels on the Bus” so, when Prince opened with the song DMSR (Dance, Music, Sex, Romance)  and busted out lyrics like “Girl it ain’t no sin to strip it right down to your underwear”  it was awkward to say the least. However, that quickly subsided and my Mom and I settled into a show that was nothing short of amazing.

Originally, I thought I was going to write a full review of the show but I changed my mind. If you’re interested, Mike Devlin from my hometown newspaper wrote a great review which basically echoes my exact feelings about the experience – you can read it here: “Prince in Victoria: The Best Concert I’ve Ever Seen!”

I will say this though: Prince is an incredible performer that really knows how to captivate a crowd. Something magical happened that night. It only took him a couple of bars of music to whip the residents of my sleepy seaside town (best known for its mellow hippies, reserved government employees and retirees) into a full out music frenzy. People were standing up, dancing, waving their hands in the air. I’ve never seen my town so…alive.

Not that much happens here – we’re located on a island & we’re usually off the regular concert circuit, so a concert like this was “an event”. I think some people were at the show just for the sheer fact that something. was. happening. For example, the guy who was seated next to my Mom told her “I’m not even familiar with his music but when I heard he was coming to town, I knew I didn’t want to miss it”

[My town has since caught Prince fever and you can’t buy a single album anywhere. EVERYWHERE IS SOLD OUT OF EVERY ALBUM. I discovered this last night while Christmas shopping. It’s like we’re living in 1985 all over again]

My favorite moment of the night happened near the end of the concert. As Prince started to play “Purple Rain” thousands of bits of purple and gold sparkly paper shot out of the stage, filling the whole arena and making you feel like you were inside a Purple Rain snow-globe. It was beautiful. Maybe you just had to be there.

I honestly believe in the healing power of music. My Mom and I have both had a rough few months. Looking over at my Mom throughout the concert and seeing her smiling, dancing & waving her hands over head was one of the other highlights of the night. We both desperately needed this.

2011 was a year that started off rough and included lots of twists and turns- both good and bad.  I’m really happy that I got to end the year on a high note: listening to one of my favorite artists, with my Mom by my side as purple sparkles rained down on us.

FYI. My Mom and I caught a few pieces of “Purple Rain”. Don’t expect to find these on ebay anytime soon. I’ve already decided that I’m going to save them forever & ever & ever.

 Purple Rain. It heals what ails ya.

What’s your favorite concert moment?

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