Prince was alive and well at SugarHouse Casino on Friday as his most celebrated band, the Revolution, played a fantastic set of his hits to a packed room. The legendary mid-’80s lineup of Wendy Melvoin (guitar and lead vocals), BrownMark (bass and lead vocals), Lisa Coleman (keyboards), Bobby Z. (drums), and Doctor Fink (keyboards)—joined on a handful of songs by Mint Condition’s Stokley Williams (vocals)—stayed true to Prince’s soulful rock spirit.
The Revolution hit the road last spring and have continued to share the spirit of Prince’s music with his enormous fanbase. Melvoin led the charge on guitar, giving new life to songs like “1999” that only the Revolution, with their deep connection to Prince, could pull off. She introduced “Purple Rain” with poetic aplomb, calling it the “tip of the arrow, the mercury inside the thermometer” of Prince’s career. Friday night’s stirring performance was surely the show’s crowning achievement.
Bathed in purples and blues, the Revolution were cast in a light that evoked Prince. Smiling and ready to engage with a diverse audience hungry for the funk and blues of the Purple One’s catalog. BrownMark and Melvoin frequently jammed together, and Coleman and Fink showcased their complementary keyboard wizardry throughout the night. Meanwhile, Bobby Z. received glorious backlighting to bring his percussive talents into focus.
Williams added vocals on a number of songs, bringing another stellar sound to the fore. His voice and stage prowess brought extra power to songs like “When Doves Cry,” rounding out the Revolution’s eternally impressive talent.