Label : Ladybird Records
Catalogue : #LBCD 016-017-018-019
3Disc Length : 74:25 / 78:34 / 71:01 / 78:02
Venue : Excel Energy Center, St. Paul 18th June 2004
Source : Audience Recordings
Sound Quality : EX-
Year Of Release : 2004
Fink's Comments (rates this release 5.0/5.0)
The final volume of Ladybirds document of the Minneapolis 2004 concerts, and it doesn't disappoint. The sound quality is as consistently good as the previous 2 volumes (VOLUME I) (VOLUME II), and the shows themselves feature some unusual moments. The main Musicology concert is the last of the 3 nights in Prince's hometown and he certainly leaves them with a memorable concert. The acoustic set features a soulful 'Motherless Child', and the second half of the concert inserts 'Dear Mr. Man' as opposed to launching straight into 'Whole Lotta Love' (which works very well, and makes 'Whole Lotta Love' sound much more raw after the slowed down break). As you would expect (or at least I would), Purple Rain is just an absolute JOY to listen to. The sound of 20,000 Minneapolis folks singing the "Oooh ooh ooh ooh" part is heart-warming stuff indeed.
The aftershow is again (as with VOLUME II) a class show. An audience member gets up to sing (I use the term 'sing' very warily) a verse of 'Joy In Repetition', before Prince takes back the mic for a verse and a guitar solo that challenges the New York 2002 aftershow version in the ass-kicking stakes. Larry Graham gets some action during 'The Jam' on vocals and bass, which leads into a VERY unusual version of 'Purple Rain' without the guitar - I've listened to it a few times now, and I'm still not convinced by it. 'Adore' closes the set, and all too soon - the show is over.
As with the other 2 Volumes, the artwork leaves a little to be
desired, however the sound quality and content of the discs is SO amazing that
the packaging is unimportant. It should be noted that this 12 Disc Set is a
numbered, limited edition of 1,000 copies.