Sunfest 2016: Duran Duran honors Prince at concert

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Duran Duran’s lead singer Simon Le Bon performs on opening night at SunFest in West Palm Beach, Fl on April 27, 2016. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Opening night of Sunfest 2016:

It seemed almost inevitable that Simon LeBon and company would reference Prince, particularly after a well-received tribute to David Bowie with “Major Tom” worked into early hit “Planet Earth.” And it came in

And it came in Duran Duran’s encore, when LeBon, swathed in purple, explained that some of their music, including the slinky “Come Undone,” would have been impossible without Prince’s influence. They then dedicated the always bittersweet “Save A Prayer” to him, explaining that the world was “a little less funky” now.

Prince dead: Fond memories of his 2007 South Florida show

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“Why is he playing all these covers, when he could be playing hits?” my friend whispered to me, as Prince launched into Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.”

His Royal Badness had just started the encore of his approximately 90 minute set at Hollywood’s Seminole Hard Rock in 2007, a week before he was to headline the Super Bowl. That night he would pay tribute to the Beatles, Aretha Franklin and now Cee Lo Green, but had not, as my frustrated friend pointed out, gotten to so many of the highlights of his then-30-year long career.

“Because he’s Prince,” I whispered back, “and he can do anything he wants.”

And that, right there, pretty much sums up not only that frustratingly too-short funk spectacle at the Hard Rock, but the late Prince Rogers Nelson’s entire raison d’être. For his entire career, he did exactly whatever the hell he wanted to do, and dared you to say something. In fact, he seemed to prefer it if you did – not for nothing did he name his fourth album “Controversy.”

Prince was an anomaly, his own category. He was a brown man playing blistering electric guitar at a time when neither R&B or rock radio knew quite what to do with it. He gleefully championed androgyny, pairing an Errol Flynn mustache with a purple hat so ornate he looked like the surrey with the fringe on top. He possessed an amplified, almost operatic sexual openness – His “Darling Nikki,” getting up to naughty business in a hotel lobby, was one of the lyrical sprites that sent Tipper Gore over the edge into parental advisory sticker territory. And he backed all that up with a majestic, prolific musical talent.

So forgive my friend – and, if I’m being honest, me – for craving wall-to-wall live versions of that shockingly original stuff that made all of our mothers terrified that we’d ask for Prince tapes for Christmas. (I got all mine discreetly mixtaped by my friend Nikki, who loved Prince but vaguely resented having “Darling Nikki” sung at her by high school morons.)

The show began with a New Orleans brass band version of the spiritual “Down By The Riverside,” with Prince himself playing conductor.  He then visited his then-recent “3121” album, as well as the aforementioned covers and a few of the must-haves, like “You Got The Look” and “Kiss.” But we wanted the other stuff, the “Diamonds and Pearl,” the “I Wanna Be Your Lover,” the “Controversy,” the things that took you back while setting your hair on fire. The showstopper was, of course, the lilac back-lit “Purple Rain,” during which he dropped to his knees and pleaded like James Brown. I think I screamed. I’m sure I did.

A week later, Prince would perform that same song to epic dramatic heights at the Super Bowl, backed by the horns of Florida A&M University and bathed in a misty downpour that combined with the lights to literally create purple rain at that exact moment, a confluence of such perfect synergy that I wondered how he could have scheduled it. If anyone could, it was him.

But that night in Hollywood, even as we pleaded in our hearts and in the tingly points beneath our skin for more, it was clear that he was not there to have a greatest hits party, at least not his own. At the time, I described it as “a hot, sweet date, starting with polite pleasantries  that transformed without warning into naughty requests for a kiss, an amorous tour of the kitchen counters and other sensual shenanigans. And much like a date, it was a pleasure over much too soon.”

He was there to be Prince, and that was going to have to be enough. And ultimately, it was.

More Prince coverage here.

Related: In memoriam – We remember the 20th anniversary of Prince’s movie, “Purple Rain”

 

 

SunFest 2016: ZZ Top cancels performance due to injury

 

 

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ZZ Top, the Texas guitar blues-rock legends, have canceled their scheduled April 30 performance at SunFest after bassist Dusty Hill fractured his shoulder. Meanwhile, organizers are looking for a replacement act.

“Our first thought is with Dusty,” said Paul Jamieson, SunFest Executive Director. “I am sure I speak for all the fans on this. While we were looking forward to the show, we are sorry to hear of the circumstances of this cancellation and send Dusty our wishes for a speedy recovery. For us, the show goes. The Saturday lineup remains a full day of great music including G-Easy, Fitz and The Tantrums, Capital Cities, The Roots, Flogging Molly, Rick Springfield, Salt N Pepa, Goldfinger and another ten acts performing.”

Check out our full coverage of Sunfest 2016, includes music lineup, new food offerings and more

Meanwhile, the cancellation has caused some shuffling that night’s schedule. G-Easy will now be appearing on the Ford Stage and Fitz and The Tantrums and Capital Cities will appear on the JetBlue Stage. The as-yet unannounced replacement for ZZ Top will play at the Tire Kingdom Stage.

For more of the Palm Beach Post’s SunFest coverage, click below:

http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/news/entertainment/sunfest-2016-alabama-shakes-meghan-trainor-head-li/nqWDk/

http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/news/events/sunfest-2016-check-out-the-hot-new-food-menu-at-th/nqtCh/

 

 

Port St. Lucie’s Megan Fox reveals baby bump, still hotter than you

 

Megan Fox.
Megan Fox.

Fresh off her stint on Fox’s The New Girl, Port St. Lucie’s The Hot Girl, also known as Megan Fox, has just revealed her third pregnancy with a visible baby bump. Fox announced last summer that she had separated from husband Brian Austin Green, but the two have apparently been spotted together (and I hope those crazy kids work it out, don’t you?)

Note: The above photo is obviously not of Fox’s baby bump, although she’s still gorgeous. Trust us.

Our earlier story on Megan Fox’s roots in South Florida here.

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Megan Fox, left, and Will Arnett, cast members in the upcoming film “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,” take the stage during the Paramount Pictures presentation at CinemaCon 2016. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)