Cheapskates who didn’t want to cough up the dough for the Prince concert at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night hadn’t lost hope—just sleep—when they headed to B.B. King Blues Club & Grill for the official Musicology after-party. Rumor had it the Purple One would be doing an impromptu performance at 1:30 a.m. Doors opened at midnight as Red Bull–infused fan-club members and other suckers, er, onlookers, who had relinquished $25 for tickets, trailed inside. There they waited, and then waited some more, for a glimpse of the Artist. Even Sean Penn, Spike Lee, Touré, and Hot 97’s Wendy Williams were trolling around the Times Square club in search of the icon.
Earlier in the day, some industry insider had spread the word that the diminutive rock star had hired his own crew for the party, thus creating visions of sound engineers and stagehands working in unity to bring us a bargain-basement performance by His Royal Badness. As folks fixated their sights on the stage, the house DJ kept the old-school beats spinning—albeit with some abrupt mixing—which only served to keep the crowd’s expectations up.
At around 3 a.m., two giant screens came alive with the sound of Prince—straight from MSG—as that evening’s concert footage was played. He moved to a little Beyoncé, sang some Chaka Khan, and simply grooved with abandon. It was a show of what we had missed and a demonstration of what we weren’t going to get.
We left around 3:30 a.m., though we later heard that he had actually made it to the club with his entourage and chilled for a minute.
Elvis is at the Knitting Factory next week. See you there.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 13, 2004