Concert Review: Princess celebrates the music of Prince
Maya Rudolph and Gretchen Lieberum brought 80s music to the 9:30 Club on Sept. 25
The 9:30 Club was full of all ages on Sept. 25 as concertgoers waited for the Prince tribute band Princess to arrive. Princess, featuring Maya Rudolph and Gretchen Lieberum, dominated the stage all night, embracing silences and encouraging the crowd to chant with them.
Concertgoers swayed to the music playing in the background while they waited for the band. The pre-concert songs were from the 80s, filled with synthetically heavy basses like “Sweet Dreams” by the Eurythmics. The strong bass foreshadowed the style of the music of the night.
The band strutted onto the stage under purple and red lights and to a sustained bass note. Rudolph wore a metallic dress and a blindfold while Lieberum wore fishnet stockings coupled with a black dress and a police hat.
A guitarist, shirtless in a denim vest and wearing a cowboy hat, began playing guitar riffs. Then Rudolph proclaimed that the night was a celebration of Prince and invited the crowd to join her and Lieberum in their Prince fantasy world.
Opening the set was “Let’s Go Crazy,” a song with the message of living a unique, individualistic life. Rudolph and Lieberum were very much in sync while singing and dancing. They twirled together on the stage, rocked back and forth with their band and shimmied past each other.
The music performed was from Prince’s reign during the 80’s. “D.M.S.R.”, “Head” and “Jack U Off” were covers that reflected the sexual nature of Prince’s music. Rudolph and Lieberum added sexual dance moves by shaking their hips, doing body rolls and sliding up and down the mic stand; the audience cheered for their sensual dancing.
Lieberum commented on how well the audience knew Prince. The crowd’s participation played a huge role in the call-and-response style of many of Prince’s songs, such as “Cool,” and at times the house was louder than the performers.
In spite of the heavy nature of Prince’s death, who died due to a drug overdose, Rudolph and Lieberum kept the mood light with their witty banter. Jokes were made about how they fell in love with Prince watching Purple Rain and the drummer’s ridiculous short shorts.
Finishing off the night Rudolph and Lieberum delivered an impassioned performance of “Darling Nikki”. The house clapped and hollered Princess off the stage, and kept applauding for an encore. One by one the band entered again.
The guitarist began to play the melody of “Purple Rain” and the crowd hummed along as the singers threw flowers into the crowd. Rudolph and Lieberum delivered a heartfelt, calm performance of “Purple Rain” full of guitar riffs and a sense of nostalgia over Prince’s legacy as a musician. Rudolph and Lieberum spent the night successfully reviving the memory of the funky, rock and R&B idol.