Posted: April 19, 2018
By Jewel Wicker, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Even fans who weren’t able to attend the Piano and a Microphone shows can get a glimpse into what the acoustic sets were like.
Audio of the singer’s final public concert remains online via a recording that has been uploaded to Soundcloud.
We’ve also put together a playlist of the set list from the last show on Apple Music and Spotify. The playlists only feature the songs that the singer’s estate has allowed on streaming services and they’re not the acoustic versions that were performed during the concert.
Throughout his genre-bending career, Prince worked with a dazzling array of musicians.
His New Power Generation rolled with him through the '90s and the female trio 3rdeyegirl shared his space in the most recent years of his musical creations.
But his 1980s-era crew The Revolution, their star cemented in 1984’s “Purple Rain,” remain the definitive Prince backing band.
Shortly after Prince’s death last year from an accidental opioid overdose, original band members Bobby Z (drums), “Doctor” Matt Fink (keyboards), Mark “BrownMark” Brown (bass), Lisa Coleman (keyboards) and Wendy Melvoin (guitar) convened in a Minneapolis hotel to share their grief with fans via a heartfelt video.
In September, The Revolution reunited for a trifecta of sold-out shows at the fabled First Avenue club in Minneapolis, and after their planned performance at this weekend’s Celebration 2017 at Prince’s Paisley Park compound, will embark on a tour of about two dozen dates through July.
Atlanta – the new residence of bassist Brown – isn’t on the itinerary yet, but fans will likely be sated during a second run of shows this fall.
Earlier this week, Brown and Fink – clad in his trademark scrubs – sat inside the band’s rehearsal space near downtown Minneapolis to discuss the loss of their leader, as well as what can be expected on this Revolution return.Their feelings about the one-year anniversary of Prince’s death
Matt Fink: The sting of that happening has not really left any of us. We still think about it a lot. Almost every day I’ve thought about it. The mourning process for him is still there. Who knows how long that will take before you really start to not think about it as much? But now that we’re doing this (tour), it’s there in your face no matter what you do. We’re just going to do our best to help the fans heal. ... I thought by now I’d be doing better, but it’s still very emotional. It’s like losing a family member, a parent, even.
Mark Brown: We hit this jam the other night, and it was like, he’s not there. Emotionally, when we were finished I was like, (that was just) like the old days. Then you start reminiscing and a sadness comes over you. ... He lives inside of us now. He was our mentor, our leader, our purple funky Yoda. The force was with him.
Fink: He was such a spiritual person to begin with and believed in the afterlife. In our hearts we know that he’s watching over all of this.On The Revolution’s decision to reunite after Prince’s death
Fink: Let’s go back to 2012 when we did the (American) Heart Association event for Bobby Z. He was working with the heart association (after surviving a heart attack the year before) and asked us to help him out. We hadn’t played together since 2003 with Sheila E. and (before that) show we hadn’t worked together in 17 years. ... When Prince passed, the immediate reaction is, we’ve got to get together. We made the decision to get together in L.A. because Wendy and Lisa were working on soundtrack work. It was at that time that we said maybe we should get out and play again just to keep the legacy alive and give fans something to hold onto as well.
Brown: When we came out to Minneapolis right after he died, we were in a hotel room and ... you could look in the streets and see the pain. We all just said, ‘We should make a video right now and let the fans know that we feel that pain, too, and we’re gonna play.’ I never felt it was impulsive or the wrong thing to do. Some of us have different opinions. For me, I felt like, I’m there with them, I feel their pain. I was there in the beginning when we created that stuff, (so) let me give some of that back. Then later on we decided at the right time, we need to get back on the road and start the healing process. By playing the music, it helped us. I know it helped me.
Fink: My last meeting with Prince (in fall 2014), he expressed quite a bit of interest in reuniting with the group. Who knows? It might have been coming, anyway. To me, that still made sense; he was wishing that to happen.On whether they had witnessed Prince in any kind of pain or in the throes of addiction
Fink: No, not at all. During that meeting he seemed just fine. I had not hint of it at that time.
Brown: For me, I thought he was a little thin. I even said to him, ‘Losing a little weight there, bro?’ and he said, ‘You getting a little belly, bro?’ (laughs). But it was fun, so I didn’t sense anything. When it all went down, I was like, that just blew me away. But even the piano tour, I was watching some of the clips and I was like, hmmm, as well as we know him, something’s not right there.On The Revolution playing Atlanta at some point on the tour
Brown: They’ll see us, that’s all I can say. This first leg, it’s set, but the second one is being worked on. We can’t say anything until it’s contracted, but we’re on the move.
Brown: I got tired of the city life. San Francisco is a beautiful, lovely city, but I’ve always been a country boy. Always lived in the suburbs, I always liked the quietness. Atlanta always seemed like a spot that I’d like to check out. The music scene, it’s like a second Hollywood. I plan to tap big time into the scene once things start to settle. I know a few musicians down there already, but would love to tap into that scene and really be a part of it, like I was in the Minnesota scene.
Fink: He was very gregarious. When he wasn’t embroiled in music creation, there were days he’d be very businesslike, but he’d interject funny things and quips. But then there were moments if you were just relaxing, everybody liked to be funny and use their own sense of humor. He had a very infectious laugh as well. He was very good at doing voices, too, and imitating people. Go on YouTube and watch his appearance on ‘Muppets Tonight’ (in 1997) – that’s the real Prince.
Fink: There are songs from the catalog starting from ‘Dirty Mind’ through ‘Parade’ and a few numbers that they’ve never heard, things that have been sitting in the vault.
Brown (laughs): We’ve got some junk up in there!
A toxicology report says musician Prince had an “exceedingly high” amount of fentanyl in his body when he died in 2016. Six weeks after he died, the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office said he died of an accidental fentanyl overdose.
The Associated Press reported that it obtained a confidential toxicology report that said Prince had a concentration of 67.8 micrograms of fentanyl per liter in his blood. The report said people who have died from a fentanyl overdose had blood levels from 3 to 58 micrograms per liter.
“The amount in his blood is exceedingly high, even for somebody who is a chronic pain patient on fentanyl patches,” Dr. Lewis Nelson, chairman of emergency medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, told The AP.
The concentration of fentanyl was “a pretty clear smoking gun,” Nelson said.
People reported that unsealed court documents released in April 2017 showed investigators found multiple prescription drugs hidden in Prince’s Paisley Park estate in Minneapolis. The documents also said opioids were found in the house in containers other than pill bottles.
Prince died at age 57 in his home on April 21, 2016.
Officials may now know what killed Prince.
Law enforcement official told The Associated Press that tests show Prince died of an opioid overdose.
The official spoke with The AP on the condition of anonymity because he's not permitted to speak to the media, ABC News reported.
KSTP is reporting that multiple sources claim fentanyl was found in his system.
The Midwest Medical Examiner's Office also released the autopsy results.
The results confirm that Prince self -administered fentanyl and died of fentanyl toxicity, ruling his death an accident.
The singer was found dead in his Paisley Park home in Chanhassen, Minnesota, in April.
He was 57.
His dead was a week after a private plane made an emergency landing in Illinois, CNN reported.
Officials said Prince was found unconscious on the plane and was given Narcan by first responders, ABC News reported. Narcan is used in suspected opioid overdoses.
Prince had been cremated just days after his death.
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