As Maya Rudolph and Gretchen Lieberum’s cover band, Princess, took the Paramount Theatre stage Saturday night, the sold-out crowd waved purple glow sticks in the air wildly, setting the tone for what became a celebratory tribute to their mutual “hero:” Prince.
Though Rudolph, a Saturday Night Live alumna, and Lieberum, a jazz musician, were added to the Moontower Comedy and Oddity Fest months ago, Prince’s unexpected death last week turned the set into a timely memorial of the musical legend’s prolific career. Renditions of songs such as “Head,” “Little Red Corvette” and “Let’s Go Crazy” energized the crowd, motivating them to stand and dance for the full concert.
But as fun and lighthearted as the pair’s dancing, howling vocals, and metallic costumes were, they also took time to share personal stories of “screaming and crying” at their first Prince concerts growing up and meeting him later in life. In one encounter, Prince told Rudolph he had them “programmed into his DVR,” referencing one of Princess’s performances on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in 2012 that he’d recorded.
After well over an hour of slow dancing, rose petal showers, and Prince’s biggest hits, the band wrapped up the show with a fitting, emotional rendition of “Purple Rain,” putting a poignant cap on a night dedicated to celebrating the legacy Prince leaves behind.