Prince Tribute Band Performs in the Amp

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Consider yourself warned: There’s a pretty good chance the audience at the Amphitheater will be in tears tonight.

At 8:15 p.m., tribute band The Purple Xperience will perform the work of the late artist Prince, who died on April 21. The group will consist of frontman Marshall Charloff on vocals and multiple instruments, Matt Fink, who also goes by Doctor Fink, on keyboard, Ron Caron on drums, Ace Mack on bass and Tracey Blake on guitar.

The concert will feature both Prince’s greatest hits and his lesser-known works and will include a piano medley segment by Charloff, where he takes requests.

The band was founded in 2011, but since Prince’s death, their work has changed.

“It has more purpose,” Charloff said.

He said more people are bringing along their children so that they can experience it, and the audience cries every time they play Prince’s hit song “Purple Rain.”

Charloff, who has lived in Prince’s birth city of Minneapolis for most of his life, came from a musical family, but is self-taught. He attended a private rehearsal with Prince at age 18.

“It was inspiring … just to know that he played every instrument and recorded all the parts himself, sang all the vocals and so I, you know, I wanted to follow suit,” he said.

Charloff said Prince’s music is “part of the fiber of being a musician in Minneapolis,” and that it’s noticeable when non-Minneapolitans attempt to do the city’s music. All of the members of The Purple Xperience are from the city.

Before the band was formed, Charloff was invited to perform a collection of Minneapolis music at a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame benefit concert, where he played with Fink. They decided to move forward with a Prince tribute band. Fink had played with Prince as part of The Revolution and The New Power Generation.

The Purple Xperience doesn’t use backing tracks in its concerts.

“That’s the only way to do Prince. In my opinion, in most people’s opinion … that’s what he stood for,” Charloff said. “He was just the finest musician on Earth. That’s what we strive to be.”

Charloff said all the members demonstrate a high level of competency and their audiences are extremely enthusiastic.

“I see it as being kind of a healing experience right now for everybody,” he said.

Georgeanne Oliver

The author Georgeanne Oliver

Georgeanne Oliver is the theater reporter for The Chautauquan Daily. She attends Northeastern University as a member of the class of 2017 and is originally from Maine.