On Sunday, May 6th, paying tribute to Minnesota’s favorite son, Prince, members of Snarky Puppy, The Motet, The Main Squeeze, Thievery Corporation, Turkuaz, The Magic Beans, The Nth Power, Mama Magnolia, and even Prince’s own bass player MONONEON gathered together at The Maison in New Orleans. Under the “Purple Party” banner, the group threw the funkiest and latest of late nights in honor of the late rocker, which was still packed and ragin’ six a.m. in the morning.
Though Prince’s living reign may be tragically over, his legacy will be echoing for years to come thanks to generations who have grown up getting funky to the Purple One’s insane catalog of near-perfect tunes. To make the show celebrating the last night of Jazz Fest even more special, the setlist was no “Greatest Hits” affair, though big-name tunes like “Purple Rain”, “1999”, and “Kiss” were represented. The show saw deep dives into Prince’s entire body of work, including songs he gave to other artists and older projects like 94 East for a true representation of Prince’s prolific brilliance.
The deep personal connection to Prince’s creations was apparent in the care and love each member of the seemingly never-ending parade of band members gave to the music. Whether it was Ryan Jalbert nailing the “Purple Rain” solo, his Motet bandmate Lyle Divinsky singing and strutting with eerily familiar energy, or the twin threats of Turkuaz’s Shira Elias and Sammi Garret hitting the notes that only they (and Prince) could, the passion was plain to see. Keyboardists Steveland Swatkins and Casey Russell traded keyboard licks and smiles of delight while a rotating rhythm section saw seemingly everyone in the house take a turn.
Nikki Glaspie, drummer of The Nth Power, took a turn in the percussion pit, sitting down behind the main kit for a tune, before picking up a Stratocaster and playing guitar for a number. Vocalists like Megan Letts (Mama Magnolia), Corey Frye (The Main Squeeze), and Jessica Jones took their songs to incredible heights, as they each gave their all to honor their hero and, in many cases, inspiration for making music. Oh, and who better to slap the bass for the show than Prince’s hand-picked touring deep-end specialist MonoNeon?
Though the musical guests and performers came close to boggling the mind, the focus was squarely on the man whose legacy these dedicated performers were honoring. We’ve got nearly the entire show ready for you to watch at your leisure with crystal-clear soundboard audio. That said, though the audio may be clear, it is nigh impossible to capture the spirit in the room when the music was pumping, the crowd was locked in a groove, and the musicians themselves were lost in their bliss.
Setlist: Purple Party | The Maison | New Orleans, LA | 5/6/2018
Set: Lets Go Crazy, D.M.S.R, Just As Long As We’re Together, Sexy Dancer, Lady Cab Driver, Musicology, I Wanna Be Your Lover, Soft And Wet, I Feel For You, Controversy, Call My Name, Partyup, Just Another Sucker, Head, Kiss, 1999, It’s Gonna Be Lonely, Baby I’m A Star, She’s Always In My Hair, Purple Rain
Encore: Jungle Love
“I Wanna Be Your Lover”