Russell Baillie writes about movies for the Herald

Russell Baillie: Prince tickets set to go in a flash

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Music icon, Prince.
Music icon, Prince.

A little past midday today, there are going to be 4000-plus happy local Prince fans.

And possibly a lot more than that cursing at having missed out on tickets to the man's first New Zealand shows in a career that stretches back to the late 1970s and saw him become a global star in the early 80s.

Prince is playing two shows at the comfortable but soul-less Aotea Centre's ASB Theatre on Wednesday, February 24 - one at 6.30pm followed by a 10pm one. Which is quite some commitment for one night.

But Prince does things like that.

Recent setlists of preview gigs to his solo Piano and a Microphone tour showed he was packing in 25-plus songs a performance.

As expected, the ticket prices are on the high side, with the prices coming in three levels - $389.90, $219.90 and $99.90.

You almost have to admire the business thinking of these gigs.

After all, two shows in one night, at the same 2000-plus capacity venue, using one piano, one microphone and some nice lighting isn't exactly a mega-production.

If both shows sell out, it's likely the one night of two gigs will gross close to $1 million for Prince and his promoters.

Unless, that is, they have to pay some sort of large fee to the venue for having the piano painted the right shade of purple.

Cleverly, Prince might not be playing arenas on this tour of Australian and New Zealand theatres, but he's managed to maintain that sort of earning power. And if the stripped-back show is helping the bottom line, the early reviews from preview performances at his Paisley Park studio last month makes it sound promising.

Yes, we might be missing out on Prince the mighty guitar player and band leader.

But that voice of his, singing songs framed by the piano skills he learned from his jazz musician father, promises to be something special.

No doubt, many fans would have happily paid those sorts of prices for a Prince-and-band show at Vector Arena.

Hopefully, now that he's finally located us on the map, he'll come back one day and do just that.

- TimeOut

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Russell Baillie writes about movies for the Herald

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