Morris Day and the Time Setlist
Morris Day Tour Dates
02/19/16 Indio, CA National Date Fest
Call it a Friday Purple Homecoming, and a night “Back in Time” and with The Time—
The word had gone out that Prince’s fabled studio in suburban Chanhassen, Paisley Park was hosting another one of its After Dark concert series, featuring acclaimed singer Judith Hill and the return after many years, of Morris Day and the Time.
With some advance notice and pre-show ticket sales, the Purple faithful were able to reserve their spots and make plans for a night where possibly anything could happen, and a crowd had already gathered on a chilly night, ahead of the 9pm doors.
Inside, the usual protocol of no cameras, cell phones, or electronics was followed, with a more casual vibe happening in the smaller Love4OneAnother room. The larger soundstage room, recently carpeted with a sound system upgrade, housed the bulk of the crowd, most huddled near the stage to catch a close glimpse. Lights remained dark as a psychedelic swirl pattern swirled on screens over the main and side stages, with Prince’s famous glyph symbol superimposed over.
Hill strode to the stage in a red velvet kimono-type top, slit at the sides and with band in place, started her 65min. set strongly, with an acapella verse from ‘As Trains Go By’ before the band kicked in with force. ‘Angel in the Dark’ started somberly with its very revealing lyrics, received some mid-song punch from the band, and ended soulfully with Hill’s vocals providing the final crescendo to the song.
Maiden took over halfway through for their cover of Rufus’ 1973 ‘Have a Good Time’ and Hill’s own ‘Cure’ led effortlessly into her cover of ‘The Way You Make Feel’, the same song that dazzled the judges and public when Hill appeared on NBC’s The Voice. An aching ‘Cry, Cry, Cry’ and the playfully analog soul of ‘Jammin’ in the Basement’ ended the well-paced set with aplomb.
This variation of the band features Day, original keyboardist Monte Moir and classic drummer Jellybean Johnson among others to play the thirty-plus years of funk hits, most of which Prince was responsible for writing. The band moved quickly through songs like ‘Cool’, ‘Fishnet’ and ‘Jerk Out’, getting through ten songs in the first half hour.
Things slightly lulled halfway through as bassist Ricky “Freeze” Smith took the reins to thank Prince, as Day headed backstage for a presumed costume change (though he only added a white coat) and slower songs like ‘Girl’ and ‘Sometimes I Get Lonely’ were played, as a bevy of (mostly) women were invited on stage to dance along.
Guitarist Tory Ruffin had his time in the spotlight, serenading a woman with his guitar licks, then Day had everyone face drummer Johnson at the back, so he could better examine the merchandise. Things ramped back up with a snippet of ‘100 MPH’ thrown in during the end of ‘Ice Cream Castles’ and a warning of “you know where this party’s about to go” got fans’ arms flapping for ‘The Bird’.
Jellybean Johnson took to the forefront, trading in drumsticks for guitar, as he roared through the solo of Janet Jackson’s ‘Black Cat’, a song he co-produced and by far, the most rock moment of the evening. That segued into Day himself taking up the drum kit for a quick ‘Tricky’ followed by the tribal beats and Day’s cackling intro for ‘Jungle Love’, which had everyone moving and singing along.
And with that, the stage was empty and DJ Kiss resumed playing the hits, as the faithful milled about, hoping for any slim chance Prince himself might take the stage to catapult the evening into further legendary status, but it was not meant to be.
A homecoming for both acts (The Time last played there in 2001), the faithful were nevertheless rewarded by a solid evening of soul, funk, r&b, and rock ‘n roll that is the Minneapolis Sound.
Morris Day and the Time / Judith Hill & Fam at Paisley Park, Chanhassen (29 Jan 2016)