What man can make three-inch gold heels and a glittering top work? Only Prince, of course.
On Friday, the Purple One performed at New Jersey's Izod Center for his Welcome 2 America Tour before a packed crowd, seated well into the nose-bleeds. Drawing from his early catalogue, the icon began the show with a medley of "Let's Go Crazy" and "Delirious."
Working a stage shaped like the symbol he was "formerly known as," Prince strutted in a black suit detailed with gold trim while sporting his signature short haircut. His band included three background singers -- dressed in everything from feathers to polka dots -- a female bassist, two keyboardists and a drummer.
Maintaining the energy, the Minneapolis native kicked off "1999" with a question, "What'd y'all come to do . party?" Then, with a spotlight focused on him alone, Prince squealed a slow rendition of "Little Red Corvette" that sped up during each chorus only to smooth out again when it returned to the verses. Taking his jacket off, he threw the garment on the ground to reveal a bejeweled scarf slung around his neck as the fans screamed and the Grammy award winner disappeared below the stage.
In the following act, Prince, now wearing a mustard-colored silk pantsuit with a ruffled top, returned to the stage alongside ballerina Misty Copeland. Copeland is the first African American female soloist in the American Ballet Theatre. As she twirled around the stage, the two created a sensual high-art version of "The Beautiful Ones," where each danced atop the stage's purple piano.
During "Controversy," famed funk saxophonist Maceo Parker took the stage for a worthy solo as Prince directed the audience.
"I don't care what they told, wave your phones side to side!" he said, just before asking the crowd, "What shall we do? Can I do some for me?"
Breaking into "Take Me With You," as confetti began to pour from the ceiling and onto the stage, the singer and his band moved seamlessly into "Guitar," from Prince's 2007 LP, Planet Earth. The lights then dimmed and became purple as the band strummed the introduction to perhaps the biggest song of the artist's career, "Purple Rain." Walking around the stage, the petite performer encouraged his New York and New Jersey fans to sing the cut's bridge before he belted out the lyrics himself. As the song came to an end, Prince disappeared below the stage once again.
Talented drummer Sheila E then arose, flanked by a drum kit, as the Izod Center shook with applause. The "Krush Groove" star, sporting a sequin tank top, pants and over-the-knee boots, banged out her 1984 hit, "The Glamorous Life," before Prince joined in for their duet "Love Bizarre." To the delight of Sheila's enthusiasts, who were standing in their seats with excitement, she performed an impromptu drum solo and then Prince invited audience members to the stage for the Morris Day & the Time cuts "Jungle Love" and "The Bird." Waving goodbye, Prince, Sheila and the band disappeared backstage.
But the crowd would not accept their departure.
Wooed by applause and cheers, Prince returned for an encore and ran through "If I Was Your Girlfriend," "Insatiable" and "Scandalous" before finally wishing everyone a good night.
Have you caught or are you planning to attend any of Prince's Welcome 2 America shows? Tell us in the comments.