So here we have the second recent soundboard release from Prince's current HITnRUN Tour, the second from the Louisville, Kentucky shows that opened what has been a sporadic series of shows more than a full fledged tour. You can find my review of the first release here. This recording features the first show of the second night in Louisville, March 15th, 2015.
There isn't much more to say about the quality on this release that I already said in my review of the first night's show. It is again fantastic soundboard, official release worthy. As for the show itself, one look at the setlist will tell you this is a show that will appeal the most to diehard collectors and long time fans. Sure there are plenty of hits still played, and as I mentioned in my prior review, I dig the way most of these are being performed on this tour, but for this set Prince and 3rdEyeGirl started the show with four newer songs and a cover.
Things kick off with "Wow", Prince's version of the song "The Unexpected" he wrote for Liv Warfield. "Funknroll" is next before he does the rarely performed on this tour "The Breakdown" from last year's Art Official Age. It becomes apparent during this song that Prince is battling a cold as his falsetto is a little rough, he obviously realizes it and you can tell during the rest of the show he tries to avoid using it as much as possible. It doesn't distract from the listening experience, if anything it gives you appreciation for how he battles through it like a true pro.
"Pretzelbodylogic" is next before a cover of Billy Cobham's "Stratus" which I never get tired of hearing Prince do live. After this, the set goes back into the usual run of hits starting with "Let's Go Crazy", but there are still a few more surprises to come, most worthwhile an absolutely scintillating, over eight minute long version of "Something In The Water (Does Not Compute)". If only this song were a regular in the setlist, but its rarity makes it all the more special here. After the first verse is performed with just Prince and piano, the band joins in and there is some powerhouse guitar work to follow.
After the main set, Prince and the band return for the first ever live performance of their cover of the Nichole Nordeman song "What If". A studio version of this song was also released as a download only during Prince's stay in Kentucky. I have to confess this song does not do much for me, and this performance sounds a little disjointed, but it's obviously a rare performance collectors of Prince's live shows will be eager to add to their archives.
After "Purple Rain", the show goes into the sampler based segment of his show. Things then end on a pair of covers as they do "Play That Funky Music" and "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" back to back. That is where this particular show ends. but this release closes with four bonus tracks from the second show of this evening, including "Guitar" and "Plectrumelectrum".
Prince's voice being a little rough actually gives this show a bit of a memorable quality. He shouts a lot, you can hear a scratchiness in his voice and it almost gives his vocal performance a sense of urgency and emotion you wouldn't expect. And once again, the beautiful soundboard quality makes this an essential release to own. Again, a huge thanks to Free Boot Generation for this series.