Viva Las Vegas 1999 4CD
Catalog # SAB079/80 & SAB094/95
Release Year 1999  
4CD Length 78:33 / 78:33 / 78:33 / 77:22
Date/Venue January 1999 & May 1999 Las Vegas
Source Audience Recordings
Quality EX-
Rating 4.5/5.0

Track Listing
Disc 1
Studio 54, Las Vegas : 31st May 1999 (am)

1. Sing A Simple Song 2. Stand 3. Family Affair 4. Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again) - You Can Make It If You Try 5. Forever In My Life 6. Everyday People 7. Santana Medley 8. The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker - Four 9. Face Down 10. Blues In C (If I Had A Harem) 11. The Ride 12. Poom Poom

Disc 2
1. Sex Machine 2. I Got The Feelin' (including Prettyman) 3. Mad (including Face Down) 4. The Jam 5. Music Lover - I Want To Take You Higher 6. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear 7. Courtin' Time 8. Talkin' Loud And Sayin' Nothing - Hypno Paradise - It's Alright 9. Somebody's Somebody 10. Mr. Happy (including Acknowledge Me - Jungle Boogie) 11. Purple Rain

Disc 3
Studio 54, Las Vegas : 2nd January 1999
1. Push It Up 2. Jam Of The Year 3. Talkin' Loud And Sayin' Nothing 4. Car Wash 5. Let's Work 6. Delirious 7. Rock N' Roll Is Alive (outro) 8. Purple Rain 9. Little Red Corvette 10. I Would Die 4 U 11. Get Yo Groove On 12. I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man 13. Instrumental 14. Redemption Song 15. Ain't No Way 16. Nothing Compares 2 U 17. Come On 18. 1999 : The New Master (including Erotic City) 19. Gett Off 20. Gett Off (Houstyle) 21. Release Yourself

Disc 4
The Time - Studio 54, Las Vegas : 1st January 1999

1. Intro 2. Get It Up 3. 777-9311 4. Cool (w/ Prince on guitar) 5. Girl 6. Wild And Loose 7. The Stick 8. My Drawers 9. Fishnet 10. Gigolos Get Lonely Too 11. If The Kid Can't Make You Come 12. Ice Cream Castles 13. You Got To Shake Something 14. The Walk 15. The Bird 16. Prince Announced 17. Jungle Love (w/ Prince) 18. Prince Speech

Fink's Comments (rates this release 4.5/5.0)
The show on Discs 1 & 2 can't really be classed as an aftershow as no concert took place on 30th May (the main Las Vegas concert was held on 29th May), so it's probably more realistic to term this simply as a "one-off" show. As there were very few shows played during the first half of the year, it is also slightly more unusual as there is no other to compare it to. The opening few numbers contain Larry Graham's set with Prince present onstage throughout.

The first real highlight occurs during the opening of 'Everyday People' where Prince leads the crowd through a rare first verse and chorus rendition of 'Forever In My Life' before they proceed on with 'Everyday People'. The 'Santana Medley' contains a fair amount more instrumentation than normal with less emphasis on the guitar. 'Face Down' is reduced to a few spoken lyrics and not a complete performance of the song - as is 'If I Had A Harem' which also contains a solo's from various band members. 'The Ride' is a real stand-out from the show, and although it is reduced to slightly over 3 minutes, it is an excellent very guitar heavy version. The rarest performance of the night belongs to 'Poom Poom' which is basically Prince trading guitar licks over an instrumental version with a "What am I gonna do?" sample lifted from the song and a chant of "Poom Poom". The second half of the show is very typical of the Paisley Park concerts from 1998 and with the exception of 'Somebody's Somebody' (1st verse and chorus) and 'Purple Rain' (unusual in itself for a small club show) there is nothing particularly noteworthy.

Disc 3 contains another "one-off" show from Las Vegas, this time apparently to coincide with the release of '1999 - The New Master'. The show is extremely similar to the short December 1998 European show with a few nice setlist changes. Rosie Gaines guests for an excellent version of 'Car Wash' which flows seamlessly from 'Talkin' Loud & Sayin' Nothing'. She also performs the Nude Tour favourite 'Ain't No Way', 'Redemption Song' and a duet with Prince on 'Nothing Compares 2 U'. An instrumental live performance of '1999 - The New Master' with lyrics added from 'Erotic City' is certainly interesting, but as with a few moments during this particular show, Doug E Fresh proceeds to rap and beatbox all over it - completely ruining what was a fairly enjoyable performance. The show closes out with Larry Graham's encore 'Release Yourself'.

Disc 4 contains The Time's short, but excellent set from the previous night. Prince only guests onstage for the closing few numbers however it is a welcome addition to this set in terms of completing the majority of the Las Vegas appearances from the first half of 1999. The sound quality throughout the 4 discs is consistently excellent and whilst there are a few small flaws over the space of the discs, there is nothing major - certainly nothing worth me bitching about. The Time's recording on Disc 4 is certainly thinner with a heavier audience level than any of the Prince shows, but again it's still worthy of an EX rating (perhaps it would get an EX-).

Overall this is a very enjoyable document of Prince's live shows from early 1999. There were not that many shows performed during this time period, and these are the only ones which are widely circulating - so for that we should be very thankful. Sabotage have packaged them up nicely and presented them in very respectable quality. I doubt this would make many people's lists of essential releases, but it is extremely enjoyable all the same.

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