Prince fans of the world, you are in luck—that is, unless you happen to live anywhere in the world except on the West Coast of America. The member of Rock's royal family announced on Lopez Tonight last night that he will be beginning a 21-date Los Angeles residency at The Forum in Los Angeles next Thursday, with other venue announcements soon to follow. The single-city tour will be performed with the New Power Generation, Prince's backing band for most of the 90s and some of the 00s, in tow.
Exciting news, but even for an artist with a back catalog as extensive as Prince's 30-plus-year discography, 21 gigs can be a whole lot of stage time to fill just playing the same old songs over and over again. So we've come up with five suggestions of ways for Prince to kill a night or two, while keeping things fresh for himself and his fans—because if the Purple One can't be relied on to keep things fresh in this pop universe, who can?
- Performance Under Camille Alter-Ego. In the late 80s, Prince attempted to record an entire album under his female persona Camille, with his voice sped-up to sound unconvincingly feminine. The project never really came to fruition, with Sign of the Times' "If I Was Your Girlfriend" the most notable fruit of his/her labors, but I'm sure Prince still has that itch–what better time to give Camille a full-length workout? Hell, the less observant fans might not even notice the difference—it's not like Prince is too likely to be going out there in throwback jerseys and singing Barry White covers most of the 21 nights.
- "Songs We Shouldn't Have Given Away" Night. Few, if any, recording artists as successful as Prince have also outsourced as many hits as he has, many to artists who probably don't even send him Christmas cards anymore. Well, for one night only, he's taking 'em back—"Nothing Compares 2 U," "Manic Monday," "Jungle Love," "Sugar Walls" (yes, even "Sugar Walls"), Prince is coming for all of 'em. And don't even think of trying to guilt him into letting you show up for some kind of duet cameo. You had your chance.
- Re-Enactment of Entire Purple Rain Screenplay. Some usher hands out read-along dialogue transcripts of Prince's breakthrough movie project at the door, with a special 20-25 of them marked with a blacklit purple insignia. Those fortunate souls get called up on stage to read through one of the great scripts of film history with Prince himself—and possibly "surprise" cameos from Morris Day and one or two of The Time, if they're not too busy recording their new album. Beware of agreeing to play Apollonia, however, for you will have to purify yourself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka.
- "Fuck You Tipper Gore" Night. Even a Jehova's Witness needs to let loose every once in a while. For one night only, Prince rips through nothing but the raunchiest songs in his catalog, inspiring the entire City of Angels to turn into one massive free-love orgy for two-hours-and-40-minutes of pure, unadulterated funking. "Head," "Erotic City," "Gett Off," "Sister," "Jack U Off," "Scarlet Pussy"—all is fair game. Probably best to be saved for the end of the tour, though, lest the night necessitate court appearances that could cut end up cutting into valuable rehearsal time.
- Straight Through Cover of Metallica's The Black Album. One of the most famous unreleased albums in rock history, what could be better than a complete run-through, for the first time ever, of Prince's shelved 1987 would-be funk masterpiece The Black Album? I'll tell you what: A complete run-through, for the first time ever, of Metallica's 1991 actually-was metal masterpiece The Black Album. Many may be confused, but the true fans will understand, and the rest will be too busy rocking out to The Kid's face-melting solos to "Wherever I May Roam" and "Sad But True" to care anyway.