Prince performing in Melbourne during his Welcome 2 Australia Tour.
Prince performing in Melbourne during his Welcome 2 Australia Tour. NPG Records

Brisbane parties with Prince

IT WAS a flashback to lounge room dancing in front of Rage and Video Hits in the '80s and '90s.

But there were more than 13,000 other Prince fans at this dance party, all letting loose to treasured tunes with wild abandon.

With a quick nod, wink or other cue, the man formally known as a symbol would cut or extend his songs to suit his audience at Brisbane Entertainment Centre.

It was hard to believe more than 20 years had passed since the height of Prince's popularity, both by his swift high-energy dance moves in high heels in his 50s and his ability to belt out ballads and dance songs with equally impressive delivery.

The show opened with a five-minute one-song set from soul-touching acoustic guitarist Andy McKee before a crowd-pleasing segue into Prince's first hint of Purple Rain.

From there the order and song selection, as always, was a surprise which is why diehard Prince fans head to as many concerts as they can.

With more than 200 songs to choose from Prince changes it up for every concert, sometimes playing extended instrumental versions of some songs, just sampling others or changing the key in some.

Funk, jazz, rock, soul - it's a jukebox of retro gold.

And the spectacular lighting set the tone for a dance party to remember.

Starting with party numbers Let's Go Crazy, 1999 and Delirious to get the crowd on their feet, Prince let the audience sing a lot of the main lines and they did not disappoint.

Throughout the 135-minute show, the audience was treated to a dance spectacular from Aussie 'Twinz' Maya and Nandy McClean as well as powerhouse vocals from Shelby Johnson-Allen and other divas shaking their 'thang'.

Raspberry Beret and Cream were obvious crowd favourites, though Little Red Corvette was nowhere to be seen.

Sampling of When Doves Cry was electric with Sign o The Times setting the crowd going too.

The piano set, not unlike his guitar playing, was incredible with Diamonds and Pearls and The Beautiful Ones showing Prince's vocal range still excels.

He is pitch perfect and hits every key, including the falsettos he is known for.

Unfortunately the acoustics in Brisbane's premier venue were not ideal, with many of the lyrics outside the chorus drowned out by his amazing band.

Not that this seemed to worry Prince fans who were treated to two encores, the final song a show-capping rendition of his hit Kiss.

There is no doubt everyone was left wanting, many hoping Little Red Corvette would make an appearance at a third encore.

But there could be no confusion about this - Prince is a musical legend.

Prince will play a second Brisbane show on Saturday before finishing his tour in Melbourne on May 30. Tickets are available through Ticketek.

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