A Symphonic Tribute to the Music of Prince with the Atlanta Symphony

Tonight’s sold out “A Symphonic Tribute to the Music of Prince with the Atlanta Symphony” is not one that I will forget!   The Grammy award winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra was joined at Symphony Hall by a live band including Nisan Stewart (drums) , Agape Jerry (guitar), Andrew Gouche (bass) , Kevin Randolph (keys), TJ Wilkins (vocals) and Bonnie Brooksbank (violin & vocals).

The week leading up to tonight’s show was filled with some chaos and tension in the ranks of Prince fans.  The show was originally titled  “Music of Prince with the ASO” and was billed to included the vocal talents of Marshall Charloff, the front man for the Prince tribute, The Purple Xperience.  As with many things related to Prince, his estate and his music it seems that some legal wranglings forced Marshall Charloff off stage and out of tonight’s performance.  With him went members of Windborne Music, the respected and loved organization that produces symphonic presentations of classic rock bands.    Many Prince fans decried this change and cried foul at the ASO for nefarious dealings.

Despite this change and the scuttlebutt on the inter-webs I came to tonight’s show thrilled at a chance to hear Prince’s music paired with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.  I couldn’t image that the world renown Atlanta Symphony Orchestra would put together anything short of a stellar performance.  My expectations were well met for the night.  The blending of the symphony with the full band was masterfully done.  One of the moments that brought the audience to it’s feet was the dueling violin and guitar on “When Doves Cry.”  TJ Wilkins decked out in a black suit. purple shirt and tie he lent his solid vocals to Prince’s vocals and danced around on stage as every Prince fans does when the music moves us.

TJ Wilkins was not the only person dancing to the music tonight.  The crowd tonight was not the serene patrons of the arts that typically frequent Symphony hall.  Everyone was on their feet dancing, gyrating and singing their hearts out to their favorite songs.

“Purple Rain” was the last song in tonight’s set.  This brought back memories of Prince’s final performance here in Atlanta at The Fox for his Piano and a Microphone tour.  With cell phone lights in the air and tears in the eyes of many we relived some of Prince’s best music.

Set List

  • Let’s Go Crazy
  • When Doves Cry
  • Little Red Corvette
  • U Got The Look
  • Delirious
  • Diamonds and Pearls
  • The Most Beautiful Girl in the World
  • Sing O’ the Times
  • Take Me With U
  • Raspberry Beret
  • I Would Die 4 U
  • Cream
  • Kiss
  • Pop Life
  • I Wanna Be Your Lover
  • 1999
  • Purple Rain

Adding to my purple euphoria as this weekend is the announcement by estate adviser Troy Carter in an interview with Variety magazine:

Previously unreleased Prince music is “coming soon,  He was a guy who practically lived in a recording studio, and once we started going through [the unreleased material] we really started finding some gems, I heard some music the other night that was pretty mind-blowing and we’re getting some stuff mixed right now. We’ve got great projects in the works that I’m excited to talk about.  So the answer is yes, there will be unreleased Prince music coming soon.