Prince Live at the Conga Room Los Angeles 2/28/09

This is the 3rd installment of the 4 concerts in 4 nights series and it’s an EPIC one.

To catch a legendary performer in a small venue like this was quite a treat! So the history of how this last minute somewhat surprise concert came about is a long story but in short Tavis Smiley was holding his 10th anniversary of his State of the Black Union Convention across the street at the Convention Center and Prince wanted to show his support to his friend by throwing a concert where all the proceeds went to his foundation. There were many proceeds to be given, seeing  the $150/$200 GA price and $300 VIP price tag.  But, to pay $150 to see a legend in a 800 capacity club is a bargain! Being at the very back of the room in such a great venue would still be a nicer and more enjoyable experience than seeing him from the pit at any venue the purple one could normally sellout – which is pretty much any venue in the world.  This concert was initially schedule to be held at Nokia Live, then the Forum, then last minute Prince decided to hold it at none other than Sheila E’s club The “new” Conga Room at L.A. Live downtown.

The setlist included a good mix of hits, covers, and Prince classics…

8:35 p.m.
Ol’ Skool Company
Everyday People
I Want to Take You Higher
Without Love
Play That Funky Music
Play That Funky Music (Reprise)
Hollywood Swinging
Bridge Over Troubled Water
When Will We B Paid
U Got the Look
I Feel 4 U
The Bird
Jungle Love
The Glamorous Life
–Holly Rock
Purple Rain
10:18 p.m.

If Prince is not one of the best live concert performers ever he’s right up there. This is my third time seeing him perform and every single time the man just absolutely kills it.

Two highlights of the night:

(1) During his rendition of “Play that Funky Music” he invites all the black activists and civil rights leaders in the place to come on stage and get their groove on. To see Dr. Cornell West and Jesse Jackson get down was surreal.

(2) During like the 3rd encore when you thought the concert was almost over he asks “Who’s house is this?” and Sheila E comes out and they rip into “The Glamorous Life” and then right into the song everyone was chanting for all night…”Purple Rain”.

Two low-lights of the night:

(1) The heavy throne of henchmen at every Prince concert that busts fans taking pictures, videos, etc.  Hence, I couldn’t post videos of the concert here but rather a crappy IPhone pic.

(2) Not being invited to the after concert party and performance at the “77” – his mansion in the Hollywood hills. These all night jam sessions at his place are stuff of legend.  Maybe next time…