When management of the Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival announced that Usher had cancelled (bummer!) and that Prince would take his place (YAY!) we definitely lost our cool in Curaçao. People raced to get tickets for the festival, talked about it on social media to no end and the anticipation for the festival heightened like never before.
And the show was great..!
When we arrived at the festival grounds Luis Miguel had just started on the main stage and the place was packed so we enjoyed him from a distance but when he finished and the crowd dispersed we went to stake our spot in front of the stage, 90 minutes before the show would start.
When the hour neared the crowd grew larger and larger. I’m quite tall (~2 meters) so I usually try to hang back a bit at concerts or try to stand to the side but not this time. When the first anticipated question came (‘You are so tall, can I scoot in front of you?’) I explained to everyone behind me that we had been waiting for more than an hour already and if I let one person in front of me then the next would come and I’d be all the way in the back in no time, but not this time! Surprisingly, they all smiled and nodded their heads. 🙂
And then the big little man himself came on stage accompanied by a swinging brass section, 3 amazing background/foreground singers and of course the 3RD EYE GIRL rock women on guitar, bass and drums. That was the beginning of 75 minutes of pure and utter funktastic bliss!
They played new songs and old hits and jammed together under the skillful orchestration of His Royal Badness himself. When they played the old hits everyone in the crowd sang along and when they played new songs the people grooved and nearly lost themselves in the awesome vibe. There aren’t enough superlatives to describe this show.
One of the best moments in the show for me was when he was supposed to be finished but the crowd started chanting for Purple Rain. He came back on stage to sit behind the keyboard, started playing this beautiful song and when he finished he actually shed some tears. We were only a few feet away and could clearly see how moved he was. Now that’s putting your heart into what you do!
Apparently there were quite strict instructions not to play much longer than 75 minutes because The Roots and Christian Mcbride’s Big Band were to close the festival at other stages. If Prince continued playing they wouldn’t have an audience there. So Prince did his best to quit after 2 encores but the fans wouldn’t allow it and kept asking for more.
After about 3 encores nobody thought he’d come back so after a few minutes of chanting ‘we want more’ people started to leave. But then he came back and people rushed back to the stage to be regaled with more musical awesomeness. But surely this would be the last time, right? Wrong! In the end he did a total of 6 encores and after that the die-hards (us included) didn’t want to leave anymore until the security guards said that Prince had gotten in a car and had driven off. We waited an extra few minutes just to be sure but it really was the end.
In the end they had played for almost 3 hours and left everyone there in awe of His Purple Highness and his ridiculously good New Power Generation. It would be nigh impossible to top this performance and we are sure that everyone there realizes how privileged they are to have been able to be there and witness this.
We hope that the people at the concert of the century also realize that Mr Gregory Elias, Mojo and Fundashon Bon Intenshon (the people who organize the Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival) are the ones who have made this possible. We for one would like to thank them from the bottom of our hearts for this opportunity and great promotion for our island! Masha, masha danki and we hope till next year!