Lining up at 12 am at the Hi-Fi on Swanston St, I must admit I began to question whether the musical act I was supposed to witness tonight was worth the wait. Thinking back to the previous two concerts I witnessed, I knew it would be.
All this madness began at around 8PM when DJ Rashida announced that Prince and the New Power Generation “will be celebrating after @HI-FI 🙂 join us”. And chaos took over Swanston St, as within three hours, over 1,000 people flocked to line up for what was sure to be the biggest after-show event of the tour.
Capped at 700, those who made it in the doors, myself included, witnessed the funk and jazz stylings of a Melbourne group who somehow remained anonymous for their short appearance on stage. They were dragged off about 2:30 am.
Excerpts of 80s soul and funk hits reverberated around the room as DJ Rashida, and for a short time the Prince of Purple himself, spun records that had everybody up and dancing.
It was getting to 3am and it was obvious that people were getting anxious and ready for Prince to bring the funk. All fans there obviously wanted to be involved in what would be the most legendary of all the after-shows thus far.
This after-show was to be legendary, but not for the reason you’d imagine.
About 3:45 AM a slight ruckus began to occur, just as people gave in to the idea that, just maybe, there would be no live Prince show tonight. A small man, clad in clothes that could only be described as ‘fabulous’ was very quickly escorted past me and another two or three hundred fans as he attempted to evacuate the venue. Upon realizing he wouldn’t get out through the masses of fans on the floor, mobbing him with cameras, security rushed him upstairs to the VIP area, where he left discretely.
All that can be said of this morning is that I’ve never been more disappointed in the Australian music crowd in my life: a drunken mess of people who knew all too well that Prince doesn’t like being photographed and doesn’t like his events to lack class.
The crowd couldn’t offer that this morning.
Leaving the Hi-Fi at about 5:30 AM with the rest of the most disappointed crowd in Melbourne, I sighed, knowing that the best tour to hit Australian shores in years had just ended on such a sour note.
Prince, sorry about the crowd, can Australia and you still be friends? We don’t want ANOTHER 9-year hiatus in our relationship.