I complete my look at the three new soundboard releases from Prince's recent HITnRUN Tour with a very special set for me, capturing his triumphant return to Detroit after a near eleven year hiatus. There have been many Detroit shows I've attended over the years that have never surfaced on bootleg, so to get this show and in crystal clear soundboard as well? Incredible.
And much like the two Louisville shows that help make-up this essential trio from Free Boot Generation, this recording could easily be sold as is directly from Prince it sounds so pristine. Getting these shows so close to when they happened is another treasure. Soundboards from the 80's continue to appear to this day, thankfully we did not have to wait that long for these to make it to the fans.
For a more in depth recap of this show at the Fox Theatre from April 9th, 2015, see my recap here. This recording does not include Judith Hill's opening set, but does capture Prince's entire, nearly two and a half hour marathon of funk and roll. Unlike the Louisville shows, Prince and 3rdEyeGirl were joined by a horn section and keyboardist Cassandra O'Neal, meaning they were able to switch back and forth at will between the leaner rock sound of 3rdEyeGirl and the funk of the NPG. Classics like "Housequake" and "Cool" definitely benefit from the addition of the live horns.
Don't miss the performance of "How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore" here either, as Prince proves his falsetto hasn't lost a thing. The cover of Laura Mvula's "Green Garden" is a live rarity and another highlight. And the night ends with a beautiful version of "The Love We Make" that is a must hear.
This recording also captures the pure joy Prince was feeling and exhibiting on the stage. Numerous times he calls out to the fans and shows love to one of the first major cities to embrace him. You can tell in his voice that love and appreciation for Detroit and what it meant to his early career is still there. In fact, the only downside to this recording is a couple of Prince's speeches from the stage have been edited down or cut out for time. But this is still an amazing release, one I am especially grateful to have for those times I want to recapture the magic of that night. Prince was back in Detroit and all seemed right in the world.