PrinceNic Velissaris wrote this review of Prince's 'Piano & A Microphone’ Tour (Melbourne – February 2016). The review was unpublished at the time, and is kindly reproduced here with the authors permission.



Dear Prince,

I want to start by saying thank you. Thank you for being the person you are, and thank you for giving us your music. I know it might be strange to start a review in this way, but there it is. We don’t often get to say thank-you to those people who inspire us and shape the way we think.

Sure we get to cheer and encourage you in concert, like I did last night, but we don’t often get to have a conversation with you, to really get to know you, we only get to see the stage persona designed to please and make sure we go home with a smile.

Yet sometimes we do, and last night was one of those occasions, on a stage dressed with candles that framed a grand piano, you showed us someone we’ve never seen before, Prince the person.

In a performance designed for the long term fans you treated us to songs that are rarely heard (Sometimes it Snows in April, I love u in me, The ladder, Xs and Os) , songs that fans dream about, whisper about hearing live. Then there were songs that were reinterpreted and bought together in a way that created new stories, Little Red Corvette melded with Dirty Mind (to create the perfect doomed relationship) and an epic How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore, with Raspberry Beret bringing out the singing fool in us all.

But at the heart of last night’s performance was your very real grief for the loss of your friend Vanity, Denise Mathews. Last night you gave a performance stripped of everything but you.

Raw, emotional, but no less experimental, you showed what you could do with a Piano & Microphone. Last night we were in your church and we were bought together in communion. Not the symbolic communion but the communion where we all know how felt, where we as an audience were taken on your journey. And last night it was personal, beautiful and real.

I’ve been to many Prince concerts, but I’ve never seen that Prince, the human being. Thank you for daring to show him to us. I know that the loss of Denise was hard for you and it played on your face (I was close enough to see), but you channelled it into two awe-inspiring performances of Adore and The Beautiful Ones, which in my opinion may never be better. As a fan to me you’ve been called many things, a genius, the artist, a sexy motherf**ker, but for someone (me) who can’t play music, you are like a god to me. And as in ancient times, the gods would come and walk amongst mortal men, sometimes that’s what a visit from you feels like. That the gods have chosen to walk among us.

But last night I saw a real man playing piano and sharing himself at a vulnerable moment. This didn’t shatter my illusions but only made me appreciate you and your abilities more. 

So I’ll end by returning to where I’ve started by saying thank you. Thank you for sharing your music with us, I, we are grateful and if the recent passing of David Bowie has taught us anything then it is best to celebrate you while we can.

Thank you Mr Nelson,

You’re welcome back anytime.  



AFTERWORD

Prince was a phenomenon, but flesh and blood like the rest of us. To be in his presence was something special, something unique that cannot be described adequately in words, it was electric, spiritual and alive. His passing is a shock, but a reminder to what can be accomplished if you devote your energy to all that you want to do and can be. Rest in Power Prince Rogers Nelson 1958-2016



Most read reviews

TakeOver | Bangalow Theatre Company

The audience for any one night is divided into five groups of twelve people, each of which walks between the venues, so that there is only a Covid-safe number of people in any venue at any one time.

Gaslight | State Theatre Company South Australia

Gaslight is an entertaining, non-convoluted, engaging and superbly written piece, so that it stands up well after 80 years, especially when its traditional strength is imaginatively blended with some non- traditional contemporary casting.

QPAC Unlocked: An Evening with Amy Lehpamer

The night progressed, Amy showcasing her many talents, singing and playing the violin, and then indulging us, inviting her partner to perform alongside for a few songs on the acoustic guitar.

Ash Grunwald | NORPA

Intimate and interactive, Ash Grunwald showed us a small part of what he is made of, musically. Ash has written a book ‘Surf by Day, Jam by Night’ and has also, with his wife, created Earth Bottles, dealing with problems of single-use plastics, encompassing drink bottles, coffee cups and straws. So much talent wrapped up with so many guitars.

Most read news

Victoria’s Dance Studios Under Siege

Ausdance Victoria reveals an alarming 92% of studio owners are worried their business won’t survive to March 2021. 

Sydney Theatre Company Returns to the Stage

Sydney Theatre Company today announced its current plans for the remainder of the 2020 season including a return to the stage with a COVIDSafe, socially distanced season of Angus Cerini’s Wonnangatta.

ACO to resume live public performances at City Recital Hall

The Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) has today announced its musicians will return to the concert hall for the first time in six months.

New research shows arts increasingly important to Australians

Australians increasingly recognise the vital role of arts and creativity in almost every aspect of our lives, from education to mental health to strengthening local economies.

New grant initiative for disadvantaged and POC artists

Be You Inc. have recently launched a new grant initiative to provide financial assistance for disadvantaged and POC artists auditioning for tertiary performing arts programs this year.