Prince's Welcome 2 Chicago shows start tomorrow and what better time to introduce @Baron3121 as a new contributor to Now It's On. Here is his take on the Chicago shows and make sure to follow this legend on both Twitter and Instagram for all things funky. And for all things Prince and NPG, be sure to check out DrFunkenberry.com, always the first with Prince exclusives.
Are you ready for the Greatest Show On Earth?
Tomorrow is the official kick-off of Prince's Welcome 2 Chicago residency. Are you ready for a 20 piece NPG? In counting band members, there are some smoke and mirrors involved as well as some creative NPG Math. There are basically TWO BANDS. The Andy Allo Band and the NPG. They are separate yet ONE. Prince will ultimately STEAL who he wants for his final band, but there are TWO bands for a few reasons. Andy may need to do some playing / promoting while Prince is not available. Also, since she will be the opening act, it is tough to ask a band to play a soundcheck /rehearsal, show and then aftershow.
Most likely we will see the Andy Allo Band open for Prince and then A LOT OF THOSE MEMBERS will jump on and off stage with Prince during his main set. The "Purple After Jam" will be a pot luck of anybody's guess with loads of guest musicians and friends including Janelle Monae and others. Prince's power house trio of backing singers Liv Warfield, Shelby J and Elisa Dease, all with projects of their own in the works, will surely be in the house as well. Prince and the band have rehearsed new songs on top of the 300+ they already learned for the previous incarnations of the "Welcome 2" Tours. You never know what he might pull from the vault or add to the set.
While the 11 piece horn section is going to blow most people away, he has a few more secret weapons to look out for. Hannah Ford is the Sheila E of 2012 and Andrew Gouche is the funkiest bass this side of big brother Larry Graham. Throw in former NPG members DJ Dudley D and guitarist Mike Scott and what you have is a full blown Purple Party. This is one for the ages!! Any way you slice this purple cake, two things we know. It's going 2 b loud and it's going 2 b funky. As Prince has warned many times in the past, 'Please don't come 2 the concert' unless you are ready for all the funk about to be unleashed. Chicago, are you ready?
Let's Start Counting:
John Blackwell Jr.
Rev. Mike Scott
Dj Dudley D
Are the Twinz involved?
It seems the horns are new to the NPG camp.
Maceo is involved to some extent. Some Shows? All Shows? I don't know.
Trombone Shorty? Is he on anything except for the Andy Allo recording?
The Hornheads? Have they been confirmed? They are only four or five members correct?
The Horn Members at Bunkers MPLS (at least in the pictures I saw) don't seem to be any of these people.
Finally, Are we supposed to count Prince and Andy as "Members"?
We will find out starting tomorrow in Chicago.