In the year since the world lost Prince, it seems like hardly a week has gone by without some sort of tribute to his Royal Purpleness happening somewhere in town. Whether it's a cover band, a dance party, a screening of Purple Rain or symphonic performance of his music, Portland has not allowed the memory of pop's greatest genius to fade.
And now, we're about to bear witness to the ultimate Prince tribute, and no, it's not a hologram: The Revolution is coming.
As in, Prince and the Revolution, the backing band that supported Prince during his creative peak, from 1979 through 1986. After their former leader's death last April, the group's five core members—including keyboardist Lisa Coleman and guitarist Wendy Melvoin, along with bassist Brown Mark, drummer Bobby Z. and keyboardist Matt Fink—reunited in September at the First Avenue, the legendary Minneapolis club where Prince got his start, for three memorial concerts. Last month, the band announced it'd be going on tour, and yesterday confirmed a Portland date at Roseland Theater—where Prince himself performed in 2013—on July 14. (Seems like a missed opportunity to have them at Revolution Hall, though I suppose the Roseland is more conducive for dancing.)
Of course, there are a few questions about how exactly the tour is going to operate. First and foremost, who's going to sing? At the First Avenue shows, guests such as Bilal, Kimbra and Maya Rudolph handled vocal duties. But as Melvoin told Rolling Stone, they're still figuring out how to make that work on the road.
All this is all fluid right now. But the plan today – and it’s changeable – is we only perform songs that don’t distance us as the band. So in other words, if we perform “Darling Nikki,” none of us are going to sing it. We’re going to have someone come out and do it. Wherever we go, there’s going to be an artist who loved him deeply and they can come up and sing that song. But the other tracks that were specifically geared around a band – say, “Let’s Go Crazy” or “Controversy,” or songs that have more like group vocals – we’re going to [sing them]. We’re also going to do some of the songs that didn’t call for a lot of his calisthenics or his screaming. There’s no one who could do that. No one.
Well, regardless, this is going to be a must-see show for all Prince fans. Pre-sale tickets are available beginning at 10 am on Thursday, March 9, with general sales starting the following day.