Entertainment & Arts

Prince makes Leeds debut with two-hour concert

Prince Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Prince, pictured here in 2012, asked fans to leave their phones and cameras at home

Prince wrapped up the second leg of his UK Hit and Run tour on Friday, with his first concert in Leeds.

The rock star played a two-hour, 33-song set, with many of his biggest hits reinvented to suit his new, all-female band 3rdEyeGirl.

"If you haven't noticed there's been a turn towards the guitar these days," he said.

"That's because of this wonderful band behind me."

Image copyright Other (press shot)
Image caption Prince performed with his new all-female band 3rdEyeGirl

Often underrated as a guitarist, Prince played a succession of blistering solos, combining the fluency of Carlos Santana with the raw power of Jimi Hendrix.

After one such display, the star misjudged throwing his guitar into the wings, causing a technician to take a running dive across the stage.

As he caught the instrument, he won one of the biggest cheers of the night.

'Too many hits'

And he wasn't the only member of the crew to be kept on their toes. Prince constantly shouted commands to the sound and lighting crew - at one point plunging the First Direct Arena into darkness.

"You don't need to see me" he told the 13,500-strong crowd. "You need to dance."

And dance they did.

Image copyright Handout
Image caption Prince and his new band 3rd Eye Girl performed several shows in London in February

In the most comprehensive overview of his back catalogue since 1988's Lovesexy tour, the star played dozens of classics including Let's Go Crazy, Raspberry Beret, Alphabet Street, Sign O The Times, When Doves Cry, Diamonds and Pearls and Purple Rain.

"I got too many hits," he teased. "We'll be here all night."

The star also incorporated b-sides (She's Always In My Hair), songs given to other artists (Nothing Compares 2U) and fan-favourite album tracks (Hot Thing).

The crowd, dressed in a pre-mandated purple, were thrilled, bringing the star back for three encores.

"Seriously?" he inquired as he returned to the stage for a final time, closing the show with a mournful Sometimes It Snows In April.

The concert concluded the second UK leg of his Hit and Run tour, which began with a series of surprise shows in London and Manchester in February.

Prince, who recently re-signed with his former record label Warner Bros, is due to release a new album, Plectrum Electrum, later this year.

He goes on to play shows in Europe over the summer.

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