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Watch Prince debut 'Purple Rain' at First Ave before his lawyers take it down!

Prince in the film version of <i>Purple Rain</i>

Prince in the film version of Purple Rain

Update (8:30 a.m. September 2): The video is gone. Trust us, though, it was amazing. 

You know Agent Smith from The Matrix? That relentless automaton that was hellbent on squashing Neo? In this metaphor, Agent Smith is Prince's litigious goon squad and, of course, unsanctioned use of Prince's material is Neo.

In the recently re-emerged rare footage below, you'll (hopefully) see the Purple One circa '83 at First Avenue unveiling "Purple Rain" for the first time. Performing to an "increasingly disinterested" crowd, as Star Tribune music critic Jon Bream put it, Prince absolutely dazzles in this 13-minute live version of the song, the same one that would end up on the titular 1984 album. Quick! Watch before it's stricken from the internet (it's happened before): 

Here is the original live recording of "Purple Rain" at 1st Ave!!

Posted by Raphael Deas on Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Did you get to the clip before Prince's lawyers did? Here's hoping. The video, posted by Facebook user Raphael Deas, has been shared more than 40,000 times. Last year Prince sued 22 fans who posted bootleg versions of his music on Facebook, seeking a total of $22 million in damages.  

In other Prince news, last week Pitchfork named "Purple Rain" the best song of the 1980s. The Minnesota-born music legend is currently gearing up for the release of new album HitnRun, due sometime this month.