Sunday was the third and final night of Prince’s weekend stint at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
The series of shows marked his only East coast performances, and some of his only shows in advance of a new album in 2014.
Following up on the weekend of well attended and well received performances came an after party that left some fans revolting against the purple throne.
The party at the casino’s Cabaret Theater started shortly after the end of Prince’s set, around 1 a.m., and continued until about 4:30 a.m. Fans who sprung for the $150 ticket expecting to see the pop royalty waited patiently after the house lights came up, hoping he took the stage in a surprise encore.
Reality set in when a man on stage announced the need to vacate and security politely asked guests to leave. Some guests morosely shuffled out the door while others took out frustrations by attempting to bargain with security.
Ticket holders have since been contacted by Ticketmaster and offered refunds for the event.
No specific claims were made as to what the party would entail but many seemingly assumed the ticket price ensured artist would be playing in the intimate venue. When Prince did appear, for a very brief period of time, he kept to himself in the back corner of the theater.
What the guests at the after party did get, however, was a dance party curated by Doug E. Fresh that had most of the Cabaret crowd out of their seats dancing.
Liv Warfield, one of Prince’s backup singers and member of the New Power Generation band, delivered an exhilarating performance to kick off the after party. Warfield belted out lush soul tracks from her upcoming solo album, “The Unexpected,” which features two Prince-produced songs.
Things started off at Mohegan earlier in the day with a small press conference featuring Warfield, dancer and “muse” Damaris Lewis, and the members of 3rdEyeGirl.
All five women waxed poetic at length on Prince’s mentorship for younger artists and the familial nature of the New Power Generation sphere of musicians.
“I would think of it like Funk Brothers,” said Warfield, referencing the Motown collective. “You would have Funk Brothers but all these other artists. They were still family based, wrote together, sang, that’s what this feels like.”
3rdEyeGirl drummer Hannah Ford elaborated a little on the group’s upcoming album, tentatively titled Plectrum Electrum, saying “It’s raw, just real rock. It’s not overly produced and manufactured, it’s all recorded live in the studio.”
“You’ll also hear some different styles,” Ford said, “I don’t want to give it away, but different influences on the album.” Of the material released so far only one song, Fixurlifeup, was confirmed to be on the new album.
A more thorough rock influence would give Prince more opportunity to flex his guitar muscles performing live, which seemed to be underused in the otherwise musically spectacular Sunday night. The concert was heavy on the funk end with support from the huge horn section of New Power Generation, put to good use on songs like “Let’s Work” and “U Got The Look.”
Prince performs with the New Power Generation band at Mohegan Sun on Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013. (Handout Video)
The king of purple didn’t touch a six string until a downbeat “Something In The Water” ten songs in, which he punctuated with a ripping solo.
“Oh you want to rock huh?” he said between songs, “Well we can do that. Depends on how far you want to go in. Because my name is Prince and you know I go in.”
Further he went but not for much longer, only following up with one more guitar heavy song with a fantastically sludgy, distortion driven rendition of “Let’s Go Crazy.”
Prince’s set started a little later than previous nights, about 10:45 p.m., and seemed to be accordingly shorter at roughly an hour and forty-five minutes.
Once the house lights came up and half the arena emptied, 3rdEyeGirl returned to the stage for a quick-ripping rock tease of material from Plectrum Electrum. The band left with a bang, whetting the palate for fans of Prince’s rockier side.
Janelle Monae opened the show with a fast paced, high energy set themed around being mentally unbalanced. There were plenty of men in white coats and straight jackets. Prince himself was even carted out like a patient during her first song. Monae replied near the end of her set by performing her own version of “Let’s Go Crazy.”