Who doesn’t love them some Prince?! I sure do, and I would have given anything to be at the legendary Carnegie Hall for the tribute to Prince held there on Thursday night. More than 20 performers hit the stage and paid tribute to the Purple One in a two-hour long plus concert. Elvis Costello, The Roots and the Waterboys were among the performers rocking out as they did their versions of Prince songs. The performers then took the stage together to close the show with the very fitting number “1999.”.
Singer D’Angelo took the lead on that number while Betty LaVette, Chris Rock, Costello, Maya Rudolph and Sandra Bernhard all clapped hands side by side and danced in a silly manner as the crowd cheered them on and rocked out themselves.
Some of the performers from that night got into character as they did their best ‘Prince’. Soul singer Bilal got wild on “Sister” as she sang in various tones like a crazed man, which the crowd ate up. Bernhard impressed the audience with her moves and singing on “Little Red Corvette” while Kat Edmondson, a singer-songwriter, serenaded the crowd with “The Beautiful Ones” (my personal favorite).
The Roots’ Questlove jammed on the drums while the very preggo Rudolph screeched out “Darling Nikki” while rocking some heels and nailing her moves alongside Gretchen Lieberum. Rudolph has been known for singing Prince covers under the name PRINCEss and she did not fail to deliver the thrills that night.
Other songs covered that night were “Let’s Go Crazy” (recited by Fred Armisen ), “It’s Going to be a Beautiful Night” (Blind Boys of Alabama with D’Angelo), “Kiss (LaVette), “Pop Life” (Citizen Cope and Alice Smith) and “Raspberry Beret” (Booker T. Jones and Diane Birch).
Rock thanked the audience for coming in one of the few words said to the crowd, which raised $100,000 for music education programs.