The Purple Ones at Music Box

On February 28th, 2020, Bay Area natives, The Purple Ones, amplified the stage at Music Box . Their Insatiable Tribute to Prince served us nostalgia and a night to remember.

While browsing for upcoming concerts in and near San Diego, I came across The Purple Ones. They are a Prince cover band based in Oakland, California. Since I never got the chance to see Prince live and he is near and dear to my heart I was excited to go. Music Box was bigger than I thought it would be, with 3 stories for viewing. After scoping out the venue, my friend and I decided to go to the main floor, and we were pretty close to the stage.

The crowd was a mix of couples, groups of friends, and obvious Prince fans. Many people were wearing purple or sparkly garments such as hats and bold jackets. After looking around, my friend said we were possibly the youngest people in the crowd.

Our openers started right at 9 o’clock. They were a group called The Red Cars, which was a The Cars cover band. They started there set and had a lot of energy, however if you do not listen to The Cars (like most of us in the crowd), you were just politely swaying to the music. Their set felt as if we were in a 80s rom-com and suddenly a song came on that majority of us knew, Just What I Needed. The Red Cars finished their set, which was nice to end on a more popular song leaving the crowd more animated.

Before The Purples Ones graced the stage, DJ Spooky Calavera greeted us and proceeded to hype up the crowd by playing high energy music and a few Prince classics.

Around 10:10 PM, The Purple Ones dramatically took the stage with an intro song of their own. The band was composed of two lead vocalists, a full horn section, keyboard, and guitar/bass. The saxophone, trombone, and trumpets gave the concert a unique sound that stole the show. They started their set with a few older Prince songs. The two lead vocalist definitely did their part to get the crowd dancing and singing. They performed classics like “Sign “O” the Times” and “Little Red Corvette”.

Although the crowd was already pumped, their rendition of “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man” got the crowd singing and clapping. They maintained that energy and during an instrumental solo the two vocalist snuck away to the back and the band finished the song. The next song explained why the two snuck away in flirty way.

The female vocalist came off the stage to perform “Nasty Girl” which is actually by Vanity 6 (a female group that Prince put together). That song definitely got the ladies jumping and screaming the lyrics.

As the night came to a close, The Purple Ones ended with one of my favorites, “I Wanna Be Your Lover.” This song is known to have a long section of instrumentals, and this is where the band introduced themselves. They thanked the crowd, shared that it was their first time in San Diego, and stated that they would not be where they are without Prince. On that note, they closed out the show.

This was definitely a new experience, but the band exceeded my expectations and it made me wish I had the chance to see Prince live.

Written by: Jasmine Alexander

Jasmine Alexander