It’s been almost six months since the world found out that Prince had died. While there have been several tributes by various bands over that time; Cleveland held their own tribute to the Purple One last Saturday night as Sheila E. and Morris Day and the Time headlined a show at the I-X Center.
Sheila E. dressed in white pants, and long white shirt adorned with a large purple Prince symbol with a butterfly, came out rocking to the sounds “When Doves Cry.” She and her two backup singers even recreated the dance moves from the classic video.
That was just the first of several Prince songs that Ms. Escovedo played. Most were done in a medley style that included “Housequake,” “Erotic City,” “U Got the Look” and “A Love Bizarre.”
Sheila would occasionally hit some beats on her timbales that were center stage and she even spent some time behind the drum kit, reminding everyone that she is a great drummer in her own right.
Some audience members were invited to go on stage and dance with the band as they played the uptempo Latin influenced song “Bylar.” Afterwards, Sheila said that everyone could download the song for free at her web site.
After the audience members returned to their seats, Sheila decided to strap on a guitar and head out into the audience to play “Rockstar.” As she made her way back to the stage, she and her guitarist played the familiar ending chords of “Purple Rain.”
She ended her set with Prince’s “Baby, I’m a Star.” But the crowd was on their feet and brought her back to play her biggest hit “Glamourous Life” where she played an incredible solo on the timbales to bring her set to a close.
Morris Day took the stage next. Known for his outrageous personality from the film Purple Rain, Mr. Day kept that persona going all night.
The Time opened the show by playing “1999” while Morris strutted on stage and proceeded to check out his appearance in a large mirror that was brought on stage by his side-kick. That role is usually played by Jerome, but for some unknown reason, Jerome was not in the house.
The first half of the set featured early ‘80s party jams like “Pandemonium,” “Wild and Loose” and “Fishnet” that had the mostly middle aged crowd dancing in their seats.
While the band played “777-9311” Morris left and finished singing the song from backstage. He then apologized for not being on stage but he said “I’m half naked!” Later he indicated that he was changing his wardrobe.
When he reappeared, Day was dressed in a long white overcoat with a white scarf around his shoulders; an outfit that was very similar to what he wore in Purple Rain.
It was time to slow things down as the band played “Gigolo’s Get Lonely Too,” “Girl” and “If the Kid Can’t Make You Come” showcasing that Day is still in fine voice and he can still hit the high notes.
Morris then went into a little rap where he said that people may not think that he is cool anymore. However, he said that he was like a bottle of champagne that was taken from a refrigerator and placed on a counter. That bottle will condensate, because that’s what you do when you are cool from the inside out. He doesn’t sweat, he condensates!
The man is still smooth.
The 16 song set ended with their two biggest hits “The Bird” and “Jungle Love,” which had the crowd begging for more.
Cleveland band, Hubbs Groove opened the show by playing some great Prince covers that included “Let’s Go Crazy,” “Kiss” and “Sign ‘o the Times.”
Overall it was a great tribute to a great artist.