Prince In Atlanta

Legendary musician and performer Prince passed away in his Minneapolis home April 21 at the age of 57. 

While many in the music industry mourned the loss of a great musician and icon, two Atlanta music professionals reflected on Prince’s final performance in the city a week earlier.

“In what is typical Prince fashion, the idea for the show came on late and fast,” said Josh Antenucci with Rival Entertainment, who had promoted the show. “Even with the one week delay after his illness, it was an incredible experience at the Fox Theatre. Never have I seen a crowd erupt in the way that they did and stay encapsulated with every movement and gesture. It was truly an incredible experience.”

Prince returned to the stage for four encores, ending with a medley of “Purple Rain,” “The Beautiful Ones” & “Diamonds and Pearls” that left many in tears. Atlanta was the third date on Prince’s North American Microphone & A Piano Tour, a conceptual outing that highlighted Prince’s mastery of the piano and the influence of his father, jazz great John L. Nelson.

Vella said the show was “electrifying. He had the audience in the palm of his hand the entire time and was the consumate entertainer he’s always been. People sang along with every single song — it was Prince being Prince. He is the world-class performer that we all know and love.”

Vella said there was no indication that Prince was ill. Prince’s plane made an emergency landing because of illness early April 15. In the weeks and months leading up to the show, Prince had played a handful of the Microphone & A Piano shows in Europe and Canada.

“Atlanta was to be the first of many of these shows in theaters and arenas that were being planned. We started in Atlanta and had been in talks to do many more dates,” Antenucci said.

Unlike most artists, Prince announced many of his shows one at a time, often just a few days before the concert was to take place. It was very rare for the singer to announce an entire tour, or to work exclusively with one promoter.

There was even a show that had been planned for this week, Antenucci said, as well as a number of dates in April and May. “He was very involved in selecting which markets he was looking to play next and there were several that were on their way to happening,” he said.