Story & Photographs by Diane Fleischman

Pinch me, I must be dreaming.  As I watched a short distance from The State Theatre stage, front-man, Marshall Charloff not only dressed like Prince, but also carried his dance movements, vocals, and mannerisms as he emulated the late great purple one to a “T”.  

The Purple Xperience is a five-piece tribute band originally from the same town as Prince, Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The band’s credentials read like a who’s who in today’s popular music with Charloff, who recorded with Prince on the album, “94 East”.  His musical journey began as a teenager, self-taught on guitar, piano, bass, and drums.  Today, he is regarded as a successful musician, producer, and arranger.  

The concert was not intended to be taken sitting down.  The majority of the audience danced in the aisles as they clapped, cheered and sang along to Prince’s best loved songs.  Coinciding with each moment in musical time was a costume change, which brought the memories back to present day. 

The energy ran high throughout the theatre, the band danced in unison with guitars swinging, as some of Prince’s top hits were celebrated with “ I Wanna Be Your Lover’, “Delirious”,  “Nothing Compares 2U”, “Let’s Go Crazy”,  “Red Corvette”,  “1999” and “When Doves Cry”.   Charloff induced a sing a long to “Raspberry Beret” as he walked through the audience, he offered the microphone to several fans, and brought one man on stage to finish the song. That was an amazing moment and the cheers and excitement reached a fever pitched level. 

The sweet spot of the show was a brief remembrance to the recent passing of Tom Petty with “Free Falling”.   

As the set closed, the crowd wasn’t going anywhere as they brought The Purple Xperience back to the stage for an encore, the extended version of “Purple Rain”, the crowd remained on their feet. 

“Some of you needed this for healing purposes”, Charloff told the audience as the show ended.  And he’s right.  Music has incredible healing powers.  The Purple Xperience is by far the most authentic, credible, touring tribute band that has embodied the musical passion of Prince and The Revolution.  For those who never had the opportunity to see a Prince concert, this is certainly a show that will not disappoint.