“Baltimore! No curfew!” Prince proclaimed at the “Rally 4 Peace” benefit concert to thousands of Baltimore fans embracing him by erupting in purple euphoria, while he cranked up the song “Let’s Go Crazy.” But on this warm Baltimore night at the Royal Farms Arena, his royal Badness was in a “Gray” mood donning an all-gray outfit in honor of 25-year-old Freddie Gray and all the recent deaths of young Black men while in police custody. Prince also requested fans do the same and wear gray, but although Prince was taking a stand on social injustice, he didn’t stand still during his hot performance. Prince dazzled with “C.O.O.L.” moves. Only he can wear a shirt with his own face on it, on the front and on the back! On this night, Prince quickly christened the city with its own song by unveiling an upbeat, uplifting song appropriately titled “Baltimore.”
“Nobody got in nobody’s way, so I guess you could say it was a good day, at least a little better than the day in Baltimore,” Prince’s falsetto voice crooned. “Does anybody hear us pray, for Michael Brown or Freddie Gray.”
The iconic musical legend had many special musical guests join him in this special concert of hope, including singers Miguel and Estelle, and beatbox legend Doug E. Fresh, who dropped his own special call-and-response rallying cry for Charm City. A special moment came when Prince brought up Marilyn Mosby, the state’s attorney for Baltimore City, to join him. Mosby had VIP seats right on the stage.
It was a good thing there was no curfew because Prince pulled out a lot of hits from his musical vault. And Prince didn’t disappoint, dropping all his biggest musical bling, like “1999” “Little Red Corvette” “Kiss,” “Do Me Baby” and, of course, “Purple Rain” which culminated this special night with Prince speaking endearingly to the youth. “The system is broken. We gotta fix it. It’s going to take the young people to fix it. We need new life … Most of all … we need peace.”
Proceeds of this special concert will benefit local youth charities and the Baltimore justice fund whose goal is to improve police accountability and increase racial justice. For over two and half hours Prince gave Baltimore a much-needed positive escape. He even joked about buying a house in Baltimore, “I could get used to all this Baltimore love I am feeling right now!” –mike james