I’ve always been skeptical of cover bands. Maybe I’ve seen one too many billboards advertising Led ZepAgain concerts at my local automobile dealer’s lot, I don’t know. I am however, an enormous fan of Prince, so when I heard about a free concert with World Famous cover band Purple Reign, there was no way I was missing an opportunity to dance my heart out in tribute to His Majestic Purple Wonder.
“I just hope they’re not trying to be Prince and the Revolution,” I told my girlfriend on our way to Whiskey-A-Go-Go. “Trying to replicate Prince is just setting yourself up for failure.”
“Hmph!” she agreed, although both of us admitted being unsure of how similar a tribute band was supposed to be to the subject of their idolization.
When we stepped into a crowded Whiskey-a-Go-Go our mouths immediately dropped.
My first thought was some version of, “Oh my goodness, Prince came and decided to show up the cover band! That is so Prince!”
Upon closer look, it was clear that the lead singer of Purple Reign didn’t have the same perfectly-coiffed silky locks, or hormone-inducing hip swivel that has contributed to an estimated 18,520 pregnancies and counting. Still, he did bear a striking resemblance to the The Artist and although Prince’s graceful stage presence is inimitable, Purple Reign did a great job of capturing his on-stage whimsy and the vocals were more than comparable.
If you’re the type of fan who wants to hear the less radio-friendly (though still noteworthy) hits like “Black Sweat” or “Private Joy”, a tribute concert is probably not for you. They’re going to play the singles and your job is to dance like Prince is looking down on you from his regal bath-spa throne.
In this regard, Purple Reign did not disappoint and nailed such classics as, “When Doves Cry” and “I Would Die 4 You”, but the real treat was their surprise encore of “Sexy MF.”
Unfortunately, as a result of West Hollywood parking (or lack thereof), my friend and I missed the first couple of songs in Purple Reign’s set. After enjoying their tribute so much, I was kind of bummed that I didn’t get to experience the entire performance. Then I learned that Purple Reign has a Thursday-Sunday residency at the Sin City Theatre inside Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. I’ll definitely be checking that out next time I venture into the city that never sleeps.
It turns out, ASX TV is hosting free concerts with the World’s Greatest Tribute Bands at Whiskey-a-Go-Go every Monday through April. They’ve got everything from Beastie Boys to No Doubt to Nirvana cover bands, so if you’re a die-hard fan you should definitely check it out and judge the posers with band t-shirts from Forever 21.