Glorious Spontaneity or How To Impress Your Friends

21 May

How was your weekend? Can you please allow me to gush for a while? I had the most fabulous weekend, or let’s condense as my Friday evening/Saturday morning was the most magnificent part.

First of all a glimpse at how I thought my Friday would play out. I envisaged grocery shopping, going home, making scrambled eggs on toast. Maybe a spicy dash of tabasco. Maybe some passing out in front of the TV before going to bed at 9.45pm.

Hmmm… I know. Boring.

Lucky I have such friends. First of all L and S took me to the Emporium for Mexican and while we were sitting there sipping frozen maguaritas and chowing down on spicy burritos S got a call from another of our friends, S and her carload of Prince fans. They were on their way to the Entertainment Centre, shrieking with excitement. They pleaded for us to hold a place in line for them to get tickets to Prince’s after show at the Hifi in West End. With promises of massges and all the love in the world we accepted. S and I went down to the Hifi equipped with warm jackets to hold the line. The series of events that followed were hilarious, completely bizarre and wonderful. Everything just slotted into place perfectly. Our little dedicated group started with just six people.

When we got to the line S met up with a guy she hadn’t seen in a few years, someone she used to work with. A big catch-up followed, and of course we all had plenty of time to kill. We hung with D and later his friend D as well in the front row.

One guy had been a wrestler for nine years. He had heard about the secret(ish) gig as he had come to the Hi-fi for a burlesque/wrestling evening. He ditched the spectator sport and opted for a long wait. A friend of his from the Southern end of the Gold Coast joined him later on and they both got free tickets courtesy of the venue management.

There was Andrew who had travelled up from  Sydney. He had purchased one of the VIP tickets, very close to the stage, worth $400. He had been on the train to Boondall when he got a message about the after show at the Hifi so he got off the train and headed to West End instead.

Another guy who bore an uncanny resemblance to Mark from Empire Records. He dropped hints that he was in a band, but he got pulled away from our little group later in the night and I never saw him again.

Our four friends showed up after a  sprint from the Entertainment Centre and managed to get there by ten past eleven. They joined our front position with screams of joy and stories of the main concert they had just witnessed. They are just so grateful for our wonderful waiting. Tiredness set in. That’s when the waiting got tedious. Thank goodness I had been forwarned that Prince often didn’t get onstage til 2am. We eventually got inside and were able to stake our position in the front row. And there we stood for sometime yet. My legs ached but as soon as the DJ started spinning her 70s and 80s funk I was grooving away driving away feelings of tiredness.

The band started just after two am and the curtains part a further ten minutes after that. There is Prince, front and centre. Directly in front of my friends – L and K. He is so in control – of the audience, of the band. He demands attention. The audience is in awe. A smile is planted on my face. I can’t quite believe I almost missed out on this. My friends too are glued to the stage.

I think Dan Condon on said it best: “There are a few things that resolutely do not happen in Brisbane; it doesn’t ever snow, you cannot drive five kilometres without running into a newly built tunnel or one that’s under construction and we do not have epic funk parties like this at 4 o’clock in the morning. But when Prince is in town, he makes sure that convention is thrown out; he did it in our town and he’ll do it in yours. If you get the chance to party with the New Power Generation after a Prince show anywhere in the world, you cannot miss it. To coin a cliché, buy the ticket and take the ride. This could well be the best live performance this reviewer will ever see in his life.”

After the curtains drift together again we all wait expectantly hoping there will be an encore. But we all get turned away quickly and asked to exit.

As my friend L later said, it was one of those magical days where it all worked out.

Too right.


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