|Free Boot Generation|
Catalog # FBG 02
Release Year 2006
2CD Length 51:19 / 67:28
Date/Venue Target Center, Minneapolis, 11th December 1997
Source Audience Recording
Fink's Comments (rates this release 4.25/5.0)
This audience recording could quite easily compete with a number of pressed releases from the major labels which have been released in the past and what little there is to fault about it is rather minor. The audience level throughout is minimal and it isn't really until the encore section of the show where they are overtly audible. Prince is extremely clear and his mic level is very much at the fore of the recording.
On the downside, 'I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man' is heavily incomplete and fades out around 2:30 into the track before fading back in during the guitar solo and "Stauros" speech at the very end - it's a real shame, but as this is the only real problem with the entire 2 hour running length it's easy for me to be less critical about. 'Talkin Loud And Sayin' Nothing' also has a few clicks and the sound wavers slightly as if the mic used is being moved around, but these are merely things I picked up on and are not very detrimental overall. As mentioned at the start, the show is vastly superior to the 10th December show. The main reason for this is the fact this is the first night the encore was changed to include 'Let's Go Crazy / She's Always In My Hair / U Got The Look' and the concert benefits greatly from it as Prince grabs a fair amount of guitar time during these tracks.
The majority of the main show is pretty straightforward, however 'Face Down' is proceeded by Prince saying "We gonna hit this real quick and move on" - sadly they do and it is the shortest version I've heard and contains no extended bass which is what usually makes the performance so enjoyable. The piano medley would probably be the highlight of the show as it includes the slightly unusual inclusion of 'The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker' along with a sample malfunction halfway through 'The Beautiful Ones' which triggers 'Take Me With U' to begin and end abruptly. Graham Central Station join the band for 'Gett Off' and Larry Graham gets a bass solo - however he is thankfully kept away from the microphone.
Overall the quality of the recording is what made me sit up and
take notice of this release, and the fact this recording appears to have sat
undiscovered for nearly a decade while it could have been rivalling what had
been released is a shame.