MUSIC 2021

Dark Tea Recalls Prince At The Hard Rock Hotel

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The Best Gig I Ever Saw: Dark Tea tells us about the best gig they’ve seen — Prince at Hard Rock.

Dark Tea: I was in my early 20s when I saw Prince was doing nine club dates, all on the west coast. My friend was living in Pacific Beach at the time, so I visited him and we got to see the Purple One together in all of his glory at the 1,000-capacity Hard Rock Hotel Legends Ballroom. His backing band at the time was 3rdeyegirl, which was an all-female band of super shredders who he discovered all via YouTube audition. They opened with a souped-up version of “Let’s Go Crazy,” and took turns running to the front of the stage and soloing every other song or so. But nothing compares to watching Prince play guitar. To this day he is one of the most underrated guitar players there ever was.

Most notably, the show ended and the house lights came up. No encore. The bouncers started yelling at the crowd to leave. Usually I like to leave shows early but for some reason I wanted to stick around to see what would happen. 15 minutes later the lights went back down and they started waving people back into the pit, and my friend and I squeezed up pretty close. They announced they were filming a music video. Another 30 minutes later and they finally came back out and did one last song, “Fixurlifeup,” from his first album with 3rdeyegirl (Plectrumelectrum). Prince, in his extremely quiet voice, did one of those sassy looks and said “We’re filming a video.” I still can’t believe I got to see him play, and I still can’t believe he’s gone. RIP Prince.  ❖

Dark Tea’s “Deanna” is out now.

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