Prince w/ Mary J. Blige 05/28/11
The Forum – Inglewood, CA
Words/Photos by Reverend Justito
I can now say that I have been going to concerts on a regular basis for ½ of my life. I have seen shows on the birthdays of my mother, father and brother. I have seen shows on May 27th and May 29th, yet never has this self-proclaimed concert junkie attended a live musical performance on the day of his birth. This year we crossed that mother-fucker off the bucket list. What better way to celebrate your birth then with the man who doesn’t celebrate birthdays at all? Prince, night 20 of his 21 night stand in Los Angeles and I am in the house with a shit-load of friends both old and new. Perhaps we are high up and ended up looking at peoples asses most of the night? Perhaps I decided that birthday shots were more important than my regular standards of consumption as a concert documentation technician?!?!?! Fuck it, along with Kylie Minogue and John Fogerty it was the anniversary of my birth and no one was going to stop me for partying in honor of Memorial Day 1979. The idea to celebrate came as I walked out of the Prince show on the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter. If the man in purple had the Forum booked for May 28th anyone and everyone who loved me would be there (unless of course they were out a Metal Fest in Maryland or avoiding calls from Olivia the Pig). Security asked if I had anything in my pockets. I was honest and told them I didn’t. All my contraband was in my 2010 World Champion San Francisco Giants hat, right in front of their faces. They let me right in because they knew I was feeling fine on this windy late May night. I felt bad as the cashier at the beer cart had a hard time counting my mix of George, Tom and Abe’s. It was the Tom’s that messed her up, but knowing that Mr. Jefferson can travel through time when you spend him at a Prince show in Inglewood made my money marking mother fucking ass wanna spend more. My ass made it into my seat about eight minutes before Mary J. Blige hit the stage shaped like the nightmare of a 1990’s Warner Bros. Records exec. Just like most folks didn’t have Gil Scott-Heron at the front of their death polls, I would have never guessed that Mary J. Blige would be the first artist I would see live on my birthday. Walking into the Forum knowing she was the rumored opener I was excited. I don’t own any of her albums, but over the years I have enjoyed some of what I have heard. Live she brought the house down during her hit filled set. Opening with “Real Love” I was instantly taken back. There were songs I recognized and didn’t realize were Mary J. Blige. Oh and thoese shoes, how she moves around on that stage like she does with heels that high is beyond me. “ I Am”, “No More Drama” and “Dance For Me” all got the crowd up on their feet early. I knew her and Bono were pals, but I didn’t expect a really sweet version of “One.” Want to talk about a Birthday gift? Chances are I wouldn’t pay top dollar to see Mary J. Blige when she comes through town for a few nights at
Universal Gibson Amphitheatre. But the fact I got to see her show on this particular night was truly a gift I didn’t expect. She was fucking amazing. On a different level of amazing was how the Forum handled the bathroom situation. All of the Male restrooms were converted to Women restrooms (Prince shows are not a sausage fest, that’s for sure). I got to walk from Col 24 to Col 18 to pee in an Andy Gump porta-potty. It’s cool I need the exercise anyways. It did cause me to miss “Raspberry Beret” but its cool Prince only played it for like 75 seconds. It was longer then he played “Darling Nikki” in his opening medley of hits. I mean folks went ape shit when he took the stage opening with “When Doves Cry” but it’s fun to see the heartbreak from the crowd when he puts the breaks on “Nikki.” Oh and he played a bit of “Party All The Time” by Eddie Murphy. “Let’s Go Crazy>Delirious>Let’s Go Crazy” was tasty. Oh and this lady yelled at me and told me I was going to hell from smoking a joint. She told me she would get security. I shrugged knowing there was no way in hell she could leave her seat. I smoked another later on not a peep. Perhaps my quoting of Luke 6:37 helped that out. How about “Nothing Compares 2 U” with Mary J.? What about Maceo Parker joining Prince for most the show? On one of my many trips to the porta-potty I heard a male receiving oral sex in the next porta-potty. Talk about going to hell, it was well past 11pm and of all places why would you want a dirty shit stained porta-potty for such a glorious act? Go to your car or something. Prince jammed a lot. Last time seemed like him doing what he wanted, tonight felt a bit like this run is almost done and I am going through the motions. Not that it wasn’t a better option than The Dickies at Key Club, the show was fucking amazing. I mean come on the guitar solo in “Purple Rain” is worth the price of admission. The night was fucking amazing. Prince is fucking amazing. Over two nights, I saw two radically different shows. I’ll wrap it up with this. If you live in Los Angeles and didn’t see Prince during his 21 night stand. I feel bad for you. For $25 Prince brought you a funky time. I may not always remember the 20th night on my 32nd birthday. But I will always be thankful to Prince for a funky time. Please don’t sue me for posting your photos.