Gary Flockhart: Prince is still top of the pops

Prince. Picture: Getty

Prince. Picture: Getty

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AS expected, there was a palpable sense of excitement at the Hydro in Glasgow last night in the lead up to Prince Rogers Nelson’s first Scottish show in nearly 20 years.

This was, after all, a gig that jumped out screaming EVENT from the minute it was announced, and the 13,000-capacity venue marked the arrival of the pocket-sized superstar by bathing the giant arena in purple – his signature colour.

Ahead of the gig, Prince requested that fans turn up wearing purple and he’d surely have approved of my method of transport last night, as I rocked up to the venue in my little purple car (the little red Corvette was in the garage).

Sporting a lustrous afro, Prince prowled the stage with all the confidence befitting a living legend – whether singing, dancing, or tearing through epic guitar solos, he owned it.

This was pure showmanship – pure Prince. The cliché about him being a consummate live performer is a cliché only because it’s true.

The cheer that greeted the Purple One and his ridiculously tight new band 3RDEYEGIRL as they took to the stage was deafening. They hadn’t played a note yet, and already the crowd were acting as though the show was a triumph.

The Minneapolis maestro may be in his mid-Fifties, but you wouldn’t have thought so watching him power his way through a barrage of hits from a career that spans four decades and 24 studio albums.

He may not be churning out the anthems as regularly he did during his peerless purple patch during the Eighties – back when he was writing so many hits he could literally give them away – but last night he reminded us that he’s still untouchable as a live performer.

The crowd, needless to say, lapped it up. But then, there’s not much to beat watching pop’s greatest showman belting out classics like Let’s Go Crazy, When Doves Cry, Raspberry Beret and many more.