Perth Symphony Orchestra certainly knows how to put on a spectacular show. Engage a masterful interpreter of Prince’s style and showmanship, gather together superb vocalists and back them with an orchestra with verve and panache; voila you get a result!
The evening started well as I and my guest seated in the stalls, next to the sound desk we noted the presence of Prince (Hans Fiance) across the aisle. Cheekily he tapped the brim of his fedora and tipped us a wink. We were already smitten!
There was tangible excitement in the room. Well not a room really but an enormous USA style basketball rink converted into a concert hall. To add to the rock star vibe there was a huge screen above the stage featuring close-up footage of the performers. The lighting effects were stunning and varied with every number.
The “Little Red Corvette” motor car (actually in the foyer!), provided a perfect introduction to the song. Fiance slipped out of his classic purple garb for a red themed ensemble with matching light show.
Enter, Ali Bodycoat in fine voice and acting as Master of Ceremonies, Sam Nafie and Amy Reeves. Reeve’s version of When Doves Cry was fabulous. When the strong vocalists performed solo or together with Fiance the orchestra, under the baton of Elise Chong, performed brilliantly. My only criticism is that it took the sound desk a while to get the balance between the vocalists and the orchestra. The latter were too loud initially.
Purple Rain was simply wonderful. A rousing version of Cream had the audience up and dancing with fervour. The vocalist Nafie mimicked Prince’s vocal range, from falsetto to bass, with amazing accuracy. The evening took a low key turn with a memory of Prince’s final tour as a solo pianist. Beautifully done.
A tantalizing interlude with six scantily clad dancers finished the show, only to be usurped by a fabulous finale; a strutting, spunky version of Raspberry Beret.
Plaudits to the seamless organization. Even to the point of obliging, torchlight toting carpark attendants and loads of PSO staff directing patrons courteously and cheerfully.
Do not miss PSO’s next big event, CHESS (4 shows) 3–6 June at the Perth Concert Hall. If this show is their hallmark you will not be disappointed.
Perth Symphony Orchestra presents
The Music of Prince
Venue: HBF Stadium | Mt Claremont, WA
Dates: 15 May 2021
Tickets: $149.90 – $69.90