The confetti was still falling in MetLife Stadium, but a line began to snake its way down 14th Street in New York City, as partygoers armed with RSVP’s and the hope of seeing the man in person.
While millions tuned in to catch Prince’s appearance on the FOX sitcom “New Girl”, a few hundred packed into The Darby to hear new music from his upcoming album PLECTRUMELECTRUM brought together by Essence Magazine.
While the arrival of Prince was some hours away, the ladies of 3RDEYEDGIRL addressed the attendees, introducing themselves and the new music.
Prince continues to delve deeper into his repertoire, this time bringing guitarist Donna Grantis, bassist Ida Nielsen and drummer Hannah Welton together to further his fusion of rock and funk for an album that’s going to be as much about reclaiming musicianship as it is pushing the envelope.
“The album was completely recorded live, analog, old-school,” said Nielsen. “It’s going to pull something inside of you that you may not be feeling listening to music these days.”
The ladies also extoled the virtues of working such closely with Prince and how they pick up things from him in mere seconds, whether onstage as members of the New Power Generation or throughout the recording the process as 3RDEYEDGIRL.
After Wendy Williams settled into a booth and BET’s Stephen Hill found a comfortable space, the ladies premiered “PRETZLEBODYLOGIC”, a fun track featuring a driving guitar and a drum solo from Welton that puts an exclamation point on the jam session. The songs chorus is classic Prince, “Pretzelbodylogic is so much fun/Dreaming of each other on each other’s’ tongue” and will undoubtedly rock in clubs and arenas as Prince sets out to tour with the band.
After the ultra-funky “Funk N Roll” was played, featuring a groove and sped up vocals, the party began as hip-hop legend Doug E. Fresh took to the DJ booth to play master of ceremonies as the crowd danced, socialized (there was very little cell phone usage), ate and sipped adult beverages waiting for the moment they anticipated since reading the e-mailed invitation. That moment came just after 2 a.m. when security tightened up and the cell phones came out in unison, hoping to capture an image of music royalty, as he entered the club to DMX’s “Party Up.” The crowd moved in Prince was perched in the booth, visibly having fun with the band and other NPG members.
For twenty minutes, most of could only see the top of his now-famed afro, holding on to what little cool was left after being so close to a person who’s seemingly been so distant. While he didn’t say a word, he did bring another new song, which has alternately been billed as a remix to “Funk N Roll” or “Let’s Roll”, but it was a decidedly hip-hop driven beat that really seemed to resonate in the feet, necks and hips of those on the dance floor. Then just like that, he was gone. Back out into the NYC rain, leaving in his wake revelers and new music, memories and a promise for days to come.