The passing of Prince has affected millions of fans, but perhaps no one feels his absence as keenly as the late musician’s former backup band, The Revolution. Of all of the musicians with which Prince had played throughout his career, The Revolution is perhaps the most prominently known and, while they all played together, they were more like family than fellow musicians collaborating on a project. Now, The Revolution has come back together, uniting to both honor Prince’s music and mourn him as a music icon and as a friend.
The Revolution Strives To Make Prince’s Music Relevant Once More
Dedicated Prince fans are all too familiar with First Avenue. They have seen it countless times because it was featured in Prince’s Purple Rain. First Avenue was made memorable once more on Thursday night, Entertainment Weekly reports that The Revolution again gathered in the Minneapolis club to both remember and honor Prince for his contributions to the music world. It’s been five years since The Revolution last came together, but everyone involved felt it was important to reunite for this somber and vital tribute to someone who had such an indelible impact on their careers and their lives.
“I encourage every one of you to take every one of these songs and make them your own,” urged guitarist Wendy Melvoin.
That statement led the way into a rendition of “Let’s Go Crazy,” making it that much more nostalgic for Prince’s absence. While the urge might have been to reinterpret the music Prince gifted to the world, The Revolution instead chose to recreate the sounds just as if Prince had been on stage with them. Joining Melvoin on stage were Lisa Coleman and Matt Fink on keyboards, bassist Mark Brown, and drummer Bobby Z.
Purple Rain Tribute Reveals No One Could Replace Prince
The biggest problem facing these reunion shows for The Revolution lay in deciding how the vocals would be handled, considering there was just no duplicating the iconic sound and style of Prince. Rolling Stone reveals that The Revolution ended up making a case by case decision, rotating vocal duties between Melvoin and Brown for many of the Prince songs. For Melvoin, recreating a close proximity of Prince’s sound in voice and on guitar left her visibly sorrowful, but that didn’t keep her from awing Prince fans with an acoustic version of “Sometimes It Snows in April.”
Helping The Revolution to bring a more memorable experience for Prince fans were some of the late musician’s past collaborators. Among those participating in The Revolution’s tribute concert were Andre Cymone, Prince’s first bandmate, and Dez Dickerson, The Revolution’s first guitarist.
Many more persons from Prince’s life joined the showcase, including the late singer’s past lovers and many of his close family members, leaving only Prince himself absent from the proceedings. While he might not have been there in a physical sense, Prince could be felt in the performances and in the heightened emotions of fans, as they came to realize they had been given just one more chance to go crazy with their music icon. There can be no doubt that the “Purple Rain” singer was on stage in spirit, though not in person.
The Revolution completed one show, but they have two more appearances planned for First Avenue this weekend.
The set list for The Revolution’s Prince tribute shows:
“Let’s Go Crazy”
“Do It All Night”
“Little Red Corvette”
“Sometimes It Snows in April”
“The Beautiful Ones”
“When Doves Cry”
“Baby I’m a Star”
[Image by Scott Olson/Getty Images]