Catalog # SAB 286/287/288/289
Release Year 2004
4CD Length 78:13 / 60:37 / 76:54 / 78:13
Date/Venue The Fillmore, San Francisco : 15th and 16th February 2004 (am)
Date/Venue The Time Opening Act : Musicology Tour - Philips Arena, Atlanta : 30th April 2004
Source Audience Recordings
Fink's Comments (rates this release 4.75/5.0)
Finally someone has done justice to these tremendous shows. As cool as they were from Freeology, nothing beats them being packaged together with stunning artwork (and thankfully with the correct dates). These are 2 first class warm-up shows for the Musicology Tour, and as good an audience recording as you will hear......period. Prince is in a fun, funky, playful mood - yet still brings the roof down. Props must also go to the crowd for matching Prince word-for-word on his songs, and reacting so well to the show.
The first nights show (Disc 1 & 2) is probably my favourite of the 2, as it is less like the Musicology Tour than the 2nd nights show (which is basically a run-through of the 2nd half of the tour). 'Knock On Wood' is turned into a funky duet with Chance Howard and Candy. 'What Is Hip?' is funky as fuck. The crowd lead on 'Sweet Thing' (very cute) and most of 'Girls & Boys'. 'The Love We Make' makes a great (rare) live appearance, and is dedicated to Sean & Mary (who...they...be??). Prince comes back for an encore of 'Adore', and finishes the night with the theme tune to Benny Hill (If you are UK fan - you'll know how funny it is to hear this during a Prince gig - what the fuck!?).
The second show starts slowly with Renato's solo before launching into a trio of crowd pleasers, then things darken up for a VERY funky S.O.T.T. Pass The Peas is very fast paced, almost on speed - and just TRY to stop your head bopping to Life 'O' The Party (listed as 'Live O The Party' on the packaging). The crowd onstage take over the vocals for 'Take Me With U', and no matter how many times I listen to it, I still laugh at the guy singing the wrong lyrics TOTALLY out of synch with the music ;-).
Larry Graham guest for the first few tracks in Disc 4, but he is in the background and pretty un-noticeable (thank Jehovah). Chance closes things up with another cool version of 'No Diggity', and Prince finishes the concert with a mental laugh, and a "And your little dog too!" line. The bonus tracks from The Times opening set are a very cool addition, however they are from a VG+ audience recording, and compared to the astoundingly good sound of the Fillmore concerts, The Time's tracks sound kinda echoed and hollow.
The packaging is beautiful, with 2 nice reviews of the show from an audience member, and the booklet (and discs) feature pictures from the 'Prince In Hawaii' book (although the dreaded 'fam' word is frequently used). Club gigs don't come much better than this - an amazingly good release.