Perfection in Performance

Watched this 2004 video many a time since I first discovered it a few years ago, and of course it got resurrected when Prince and then Petty passed away in 2016 1nd 2017. Thought I’d capture it here.

Perfection is not just the solo itself, but the whole choreography. Despite the lights catching his red outfit whilst playing along, he remains understated in the dimly lit wings. His guitar pedals are already set-up in front of Dhani, his minder is there to catch him as he leans back into the audience, with a quick visual check over his shoulder, and several glances and grins are exchanged with the band. He owns the spotlight from thereon. Finally and nonchalantly dispensing with his guitar the moment the last note has faded – to who knows where. And it is a great guitar solo.


[Post Note: Reminded by a great Twitter thread from Anil Dash that just 3 years after this he did that amazing performance at SuperBowl 2007 in Miami. We were living in the US at the time I recall.

How Prince won the Super Bowl

How Prince won the Super Bowl (

Some excellent analysis of why it was so good, with the whole performance and more in clips.]

[Post Note: How have I never seen this before?

Too easy to spend an hour hopping around YouTube.]

[Post Note: And whilst I’m here, let’s capture this one. U2 performing for the 2018 Grammys with their anti-Trump anthem.

U2 – Get Out Of Your Own Way – LIVE The 60th GRAMMYs
from Cretu Marius on Vimeo

[And this: Best version of Lily Allen’s “Fear” performed on Jools.

Not the greatest recording quality, but the best unexpurgated version, keeps getting taken down.]

[And a connection top to bottom? In that Superbowl performance above Prince does several stadium-quality covers, including a medley with Foo Fighers “Best of You” … and, in that Jools series there was also a fantastic performance of “Numb” by Gary Clarke Jr, someone I’d seen several times in Austin, also with Eric Zapata on the second guitar – that outro is special.

Well, another great performance was Foo Fighters at Austin City Limits, which opens with a blistering version of “Times Like These”, something I play on repeat, but if you run the whole concert performance, there’s great section  where the Fighters invite Austin stalwarts Gary and Jimmy Vaughan to jam.

Can’t find a full free version of that gig – the one that opens with “Times Like These” – this was the return to Austin City Limits after they had done the ACL Festival (outdoor) gig, also with Gary guesting.]

One thought on “Perfection in Performance”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.