Vegas, Baby!!

Prince debuts Vegas show
Prince unveiled a pared-down weekly show Friday in something of an unlikely place.
The pop star, known for his grandiose arena shows, put on a low-production but high-energy performance Friday in the intimate 3121 club at the Rio hotel and casino just off the Las Vegas Strip.
Under a deal made public this month, Prince will play shows for the next several Friday and Saturday nights at the club. The announcement surprised some fans who still consider Prince a musical innovator and think of Las Vegas as a place for stars in the twilight of their careers.
“I just didn’t think he was at the has-been stage, yet,” Pat Ellen, a 36-year-old social worker from Chicago, said before Friday’s show.
But bandmates say Prince, who is more than 20 years removed from his megahit album and movie Purple Rain, remains on the cutting edge.
“I think he wants to bring a new element to Vegas; that’s the whole point, to bring a new, fresh vibe,” said Maya McClean, a Prince spokeswoman and half of The Twinz, the backup group performing with the star.
The Prince shows are expected to run “a couple of months” before the group goes on tour, McLean said.
Private-party feel
The 3121 club ó renamed from Club Rio ó and an album released in March are named after the street address of the Los Angeles home where Prince once held intimate, private performances. The new show is intended to recapture that private-party feel in the club, which seats about 700.
Prince will also book performers for Wednesday night at the club, and holds a stake in the new 3121 Jazz Cuisine restaurant at the Rio.
Friday’s performance started at midnight and ran nearly two hours, later and longer than most Vegas shows. Tickets cost $125 US.
The show featured an even mix of classics and new material, guitar solos, soulful ballads and funk. Prince’s racier hits, such as Cream and Kiss, offered a contrast to the tamer songs released since the star became a Jehovah’s Witness.
“You don’t have to be dirty to be sexy,” Prince advised the Sin City audience before launching into a sweet love song. “Let me show you.”