Prince Plays Surprise Show With NPG and 3rd Eye Girl at City Winery NYC
Last night Prince made a surprise appearance at the New Power Generation residency currently taking place at New York’s City Winery. Following a subtle tweet at 10:47 pm in response to a question regarding Prince’s rumored appearance at the venue, City Winery made an official announcement at 10:55 pm that Prince would in fact be performing at the midnight show.
At approximately 12:40, the New Power Generation, including an 11 piece horn section, began to take their positions on the stage as the DJ finished up his set. Following approximately 15 minutes of silence, the band started up their set as singer Shelby J entered from backstage. Following two uptempo numbers led by J, the band, save music director/keyboardist Cassandra O’Neal, left the stage while singer Luke James delivered a ballad demonstrating his significant vocal abilities. The pace picked back up for a pair of high-energy tunes led by Portland-based singer Liv Warfield, which again was followed by a ballad, this time handled by J.
Following the brief drop in tempo, Warfield and J got the band going on a heavy funk groove accented by a series of saxophone solos. As the jam continued, NPG’s drummer and guitarist vacated their positions to be replaced by the members of Prince’s current backing band, 3rd Eye Girl (Hannah Ford on drums, Donna Gratis and usual bassist Ida Nielsen both sporting guitars, NPG bassist Andrew Gouche stayed on his instrument for the entirety of the show). Once 3rd Eye Girl were in place, Prince took the stage and quickly launched in to “Musicology.” Save for a brief encore break, and a couple of additional solo spots featuring J and Warfield, Prince remained onstage for the remainder of the show. The set included runs through “Something In The Water (Does Not Compute),” “All The Critics Love You In New York,” “Nothing Compares 2 U,” a new song “Big City,” and a Doug E. Fresh-assisted medley of Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” and The Time’s “Cool.” The set finally came to a close just before 3 in the morning.
The NPG residency continues through the August 25, with the last show serving as an MTV VMA after-party. Prince is not necessarily expected to perform at the venue again during this run.