By Lyndsey Parker | Yahoo Music
The two-hour, all-star special was actually taped at the Los Angeles Convention Center not all that long ago — on Jan. 28, two days after the Grammy Awards. However, now we’re in the midst of a national shutdown, when the only musical performances airing onscreen are Instagram Live streams shot on iPhones in celebrities’ living rooms. So, such a massive-scale, razzle-dazzle rock ‘n’ roll production almost felt like archival footage of a bygone Pop Life. It all would have been so bittersweet, especially since Let’s Go Crazy aired on the four-year anniversary of Prince’s death… if it hadn’t been so damn celebratory.
Many years ago, Prince sang, “Party over, oops, outta time” — predicting one last purple pre-apocalypse hurrah in his Cold War hit, “1999.” Well, Prince might have been early by about 21 years. But a line like “life is just a party, and parties weren’t meant to last” certainly resonated in an eerie and unexpected way Tuesday, when CBS finally aired Let’s Go Crazy: The Grammy Salute to Prince.
The overhead crane shots of that giant, curly, Symbol-shaped stage. Bandleader Sheila E. and host Maya Rudolph swathed in full-body purple sequins. Electric guitar goddess St. Vincent absolutely shredding on “Controversy” and looking like an ‘80s Prince protégé in her lavender lace leotard, sharp Sheena Easton bob, and thigh-skimming space-boots. Beck smoothly grooving to “Raspberry Beret” in his puffy shirt and pastel Paisley Park suit. Heartthrob Miguel in a breakaway blouse, taking the packed, not-at-all-social-distancing audience on a journey straight to Erotic City with his sweaty, stage-writhing rendition of “I Would Die 4 U.” John Legend, Gary Clark Jr., and Mavis Staples taking everyone to church with their respective gospel-tinged covers of “Nothing Compares 2 U,” “The Cross,” and “Purple Rain.” And so on. Yes, dearly beloved, we were gathered here today, in self-quarantine, to get through this thing called life — and this Princely spectacle was exactly the sort of escapist entertainment we all needed.
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