If the present day has you feeling down, take a trip back to a simpler time, where boisterous guitars, purple suits and melodic love songs reigned supreme. Back to 1985, when Prince and the Revolution was at the height of its success, playing sold out tours. Now, thanks to Prince’s Estate, you can relive one of the purple one’s most infamous performances, filmed towards the Purple Rain Tour, as part of a special three-day streaming event to benefit COVID-19 relief.
Fans are able to stream Prince and the Revolution: Live, a legendary concert filmed on March 30, 1985 at Syracuse, New York’s Carrier Dome, for three days only on Prince’s official YouTube Channel. The event kicked off on Thursday night, May 14, with a watch party that gave fans the opportunity to participate in a special pre-stream Q&A session with Revolution drummer Bobby Z., moderated by Andrea Swensson of Minnesota Public Radio’s 89.3 The Current. Bobby Z. was also joined by other members of the Revolution, all of whom watched the rare performance together. The streaming concert event wraps up Sunday, May 17, at 11:59 p.m., at which point it’ll most likely disappear.
The concert, which was the first time Prince and his backing band were captured on film performing, actually aired live in Europe at the time and was originally released as a VHS video not long after the tour was complete, though it had long been out of print before being reissued as part of the mega Purple Rain deluxe edition back in 2017. It features some of Prince’s biggest hits including “Let’s Go Crazy,” “When Doves Cry,” “I Would Die 4 U,” “Purple Rain,” “1999” and “Little Red Corvette” as well as concert rarities like “Possessed” and “How Come U Don’t Call Me Anymore.”
But there’s a reason why this show found its way out of the vault. In collaboration with both YouTube and Google, the three day streaming event will support the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization. With a goal of $7.5 million, viewers are encouraged to make donations to help fight the global pandemic – and there’s even a matching component from Google.
On top of the video, the companion album is also being released on major streaming and downloading platforms, marking the first time the audio version of the concert is available through these services. It’s even been remastered by the late artist’s longtime mastering engineer, Bernie Grundman, so it sounds crystal clear. If you’re a Prince fan, you’ll want to watch this concert and, when it’s stuck in your head, you can add the audio to your favorites.