Prince is taking that little red Corvette out of the garage again.
On the heels of his blistering Grammy “Purple Rain” performance, the ’80s funk legend has announced he will hit the road with the New Power Generation for his first major arena tour in six years in support of his new CD, Musicology.
To help hype the tour, Prince says the upcoming gigs may be the last time fans get to see him jam out some of the best-known hits live. That presumably means that tunes like “Little Red Corvette,” “1999” “Purple Rain,” When Doves Cry” and “Let’s Go Crazy” could be shelved after the Musicology shows.
“It’s older music, but it’s going to be played in a newer way,” says the 45-year-old musician, adding that he’s been “wanting to make room for new music.”
The Musicology trek will kick off March 29 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles before crisscrossing the country with stops in at least 38 cities, including Atlanta, Dallas and Cleveland, as well as smaller markets like Ames, Iowa, and Oklahoma City, before wrapping up June 12 at the CenturyTel Center in Bossier, Louisiana.
More dates expected to be added in the coming weeks, including stops in Chicago, Detroit, New York, Philadelphia, Houston, Las Vegas, Milwaukee, Portland, Oregon, Seattle and San Francisco.
Prince-who’s set to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 16-is also offering an opportunity to see His Purpleness up close and personal. The stage will be set up in the round, something Prince hasn’t done since his Lovesexy tour in the late 1980s.
No word whether he’ll reenact the bathtub scene for “Doves” as he had done in previous outings. Better bring your slicker just in case.
The Artist Formerly Known as the Artist is also negotiating with several record labels to release Musicology-which will mark his first major-label release since the late-1990s.
“We’re talking to several labels at once,” Prince says. Whichever company he ultimately goes with, he adds, will be the “most hyped about pushing the product.”
“Musicology is very important to us. [It] means that when we create music, we let it dictate our next moves in life,” he says.
That’s a far cry from his days working under contract at Warner Bros. Records, when he was so unhappy about the terms of his deal that he used to scrawl “Slave” across his face during appearances.
In a sign o’ the times, Prince is also encouraging fans to download Musicology tracks via his NPG Music Club Website (www.npgmusicclub.com) in the coming weeks. He’s also hyping the record with a scheduled appearance on the syndicated The Ellen DeGeneres Show on March 3.
Prince also plans on giving out free copies of Musicology to everyone who buys a ticket to his shows, which he’s hyping as one long dance party.
“Usually the people who purchase concert tickets, they’ve been supportive of my music for a long time-for over 20 years now,” he explains.
Prince also notes that he and the NPG crew will do some festivals, including headlining the July 2-4 Essence Festival in New Orleans. The tour will also hit foreign markets.
“We want to go around the world and probably go back again,” says Prince.
Tickets prices will range between $50 and $75 with a majority of the dates going on sale this weekend.
Here’s A Rundown Of The Cities Confirmed For His Musicology Tour:
March 29 – Staples Arena, Los Angeles
March 31 – Glendale Arena, Phoenix
April 2 – American Airlines Center, Dallas
April 6 – Ford Center, Oklahoma City
April 7 – Qwest Center, Omaha, Nebraska
April 8 – Hilton Coliseum, Ames, Iowa
April 10 – Assembly Hall, Champaign, Illinois
April 12 – Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis
April 13 – U.S. Banks Arena, Cincinnati
April 14 – Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh
April 16 – Value City Arena, Columbus Ohio
April 17 – Gund Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
April 18 – Bryce Jordan Center, State College, Pennsylvania
April 21 – Colonial Center, Columbus, South Carolina
April 22 – Thompson-Boiling Arena, Knoxville, Tennessee
April 23 – RBC Center, Raleigh, North Carolina
April 25 – Office Depot Center, Ft. Lauderdale
April 26 – St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa
April 27 – Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, Florida
April 29 – BJCC Coliseum, Birmingham
April 30 – Philips Arena, Atlanta
May 1 – Mississippi Coast Coliseum, Biloxi, Mississippi
May 4 – Kemper Arena, Kansas City
May 5 – Savvis Center, St. Louis
May 6 – Gaylord Entertainment Denter, Nashville
June 12 – CenturyTel Center, Bossier City, Lousiana