It wasn’t his first New Jersey concert: According to setlist.fm, he performed at Emerald City in Cherry Hill on Valentine’s Day, 1979. But Prince — who died today, at the age of 57 — was back in the Garden State in January 1982, to perform at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic.
You can watch the complete show below; there are few better ways to remember him, today, than how he was at this time. His Controversy album had just come out, and he would soon make the transition from star to superstar, with 1999 and Purple Rain. His energetic stage show was a breath of fresh air that was unlike anything else happening in pop or rock at the time.
I wasn’t at the Capitol concert, but Controversy was the first Prince album I ever owned, and I did see some memorable shows by him, over the years. All in New York, I think. There was one at Irving Plaza in 1998 that started well after midnight; I remember driving home, to New Jersey, with the sun coming up. There was one a few years earlier, at Roseland. And there was a Madison Square Garden greatest hits-type concert in 2004 that was great, but ridiculously loud. Seriously, in almost 40 years of concert-going, this may have been the loudest show I ever saw.
So, please enjoy this video. And if you want to get the full effect, turn it up!