In Da Club: Prince at the Orpheum Theatre

Jim Walsh

Kids, parents, old-schoolers, new-schoolers, blacks, whites, Puerto Ricans, everybody just a-freakin', coming from far and wide, nodding and bobbing and rope-a-doping in the aisles; spring in the air; pitchers and catchers reporting for duty and boys versus girls in the World Series of love; everybody sick to death of "holy" wars and the world according to Them; everybody so so so ready for a change and a new beginning that historically (you can look it up) has always started with a mass carnal coming-out.

Here it comes, and here we cum, and there he is -- just what the love doctor ordered: Prince, the sexy 47-year-old motherfucker. On stage. In his hometown. At the Orpheum Theatre. "Saturday night, y'all," said he, as his "baby sister," Támar, scorched the earth with a voice from heaven and body from hell, backed by two mini-skirted twins ("Too sexy; good God!"), the trio of whom brandished thighs and pipes that could crush a man's cock like so much Silly Putty between a nutcracker, and make Tina Turner come out of hibernation.

Prince has a record coming out on Motown in a few weeks. Brother showed where he's coming from these days, as he, Támar, the twins, and his latest ace band, delivered a funky send-off to Black History Month by dropping dimes and rhymes and soul slivers of the past: "Do Your Thing" (Charles Wright); "What Have You Done For Me Lately" (Janet-Jimmy-Terry); "When A Man Loves A Woman" (Percy Sledge); "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" (Michael Jackson); "Party Man" (Prince); and a hilarious audience-participation danceathon of "Play That Funky Music White Boy" ("I know somebody from the Star Tribune knows the words to this one") led by three joyously uninhibited grade-schoolers throwing down front and center stage, and a bunch of adults geeking out in back to the mad funk.

"It ain't over," said Captain Carnal late in the set, echoing exactly what this little light of mine was yelling from courtside to Kevin Garnett the night before at the Target Center ("It ain't over, baby; it's a long season.") He was talking about the concert but also the universe. And when the sold-out crowd took up the a cappella chant, "It Ain't Over" sounded like the name of the next great Prince single, in the healing tradition of "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)," "Imagine," or "Let There Be Peace and Love and Soul on This Motherfunking Earth Already."

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