• Christine

A Night Of Prince With Dean Ford & The Beautiful Ones!

Updated: Mar 21

I had the chance to see Prince live in concert twice in my life. Once was at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, and once was in a small club inside the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas.


Prince is one of my favorite artists. I grew up with his music. When he passed away, it ripped my heart out. In fact, I still can’t listen to “Purple Rain” without crying. Read more about how Prince’s death affected me when it happened here.


Now that Prince is gone, there is no way to see him in concert again. But luckily, thanks to tribute bands like Dean Ford & The Beautiful Ones, we can still enjoy his music live.


A tribute band is not the real thing, of course, but is it good enough to give you a “Prince fix”? Keep reading to find out.


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IT’S A TRIBUTE BAND

While nothing can replace the real thing, I’ve actually found most of the tribute bands I’ve seen are pretty good. Some of them sound like the original. Others look like the original. The best of both worlds happen when the tribute band both sounds great and looks authentic.


For me, a tribute band is a fun night of music I love. Typically, a tribute band plays all of the hits, with a few rarities thrown in for the big fans. And, the tickets are usually pretty cheap compared to a “normal” concert.


DEAN FORD & THE BEAUTIFUL ONES


ABOUT THE ARTIST

Dean Ford & The Beautiful Ones tout themselves as “the ultimate tribute 2 Prince”. The band started in 2011, when Ford and some of his friends put on their first Prince tribute show in Portland, Maine.


That first show was titled “Purple Brainz”. They now hold a show annually at the Port City Music Hall. In fact, The Revolution’s own keyboardist – Matt “Doctor” Fink has appeared with them.


Ford and his band play all of the Prince hits every show. They also always play the “Purple Rain” album in its entirety.


ABOUT THE SHOW

The first thing you notice about Dean Ford is that he looks a lot like Prince. Ford took the stage in Prince’s signature white ruffled shirt and purple jacket.


The second thing you notice about Dean Ford is that he can definitely play guitar. In my opinion, no one compares to Prince on the guitar. But Ford can definitely hold his own.

Dean Ford

I was very impressed with Dean Ford’s guitar playing.

As far as his vocals, Ford doesn’t quite have the range Prince had. He couldn’t hit some of the high notes that Prince hit. But, he sounds a lot like him. Ford also has a lot of Prince’s mannerisms down.


THE SONGS

I was very happy with the songs played during the show. Prince has so many songs to choose from, that it’s tough to pick the best ones – even in a 2 hour show. But Ford did a good job of covering the best of Prince’s musical catalog.


Ford kicked off the show with a couple of songs from Prince’s iconic “Purple Rain” album, including “Let’s Go Crazy”. He then moved to the “1999” album era, which included the title track and “Little Red Corvette”.


The show also covered early Prince hits like “Erotic City” and one of Prince’s earliest hits “I Wanna Be Your Lover”.


By mid-show (and after a costume change), Ford moved into the Prince catalog from the 2000’s including “Raspberry Beret”, “Get Off” and “Cream”.

Prince

Dean Ford doing the “2000’s” version of Prince.

The encore of the show was full of songs from Purple Rain including “Computer Blues”, “Darling Nikki” and “When Doves Cry”. The grand finale of the show featured “I Would Die 4 U” into “Baby I’m A Star”.

Prince

The encore was full of songs from “Purple Rain”.

Of course the final song was “Purple Rain”. And I’ll admit it – I cried. I just can’t hear that song anymore without feeling the hole in my heart that Prince left.


THE BAND

Dean Ford & The Beautiful Ones are really talented. I was impressed with all of the musicians on stage. While they sounded great, they also put some of their own twists on Prince’s classic songs, which I enjoyed.

The Beautiful Ones

The Beautiful Ones are a very talented band!

If there was one thing I think could make the show even better, it would have been to have a couple of female back-up singers. Wendy and Lisa were a huge part of many Prince songs, including a lot of the songs from “Purple Rain”. There were definitely a few songs where I think a female vocalist would have been a great addition.


So, what is my overall thought on the show? It wasn’t Prince, but it was good. I danced. I sang. I cried. That’s all you can ask for from a show, right?


Definitely check out Dean Ford & The Beautiful Ones if they come to your town. You can see all of their tour dates on their website.


Have you seen a Prince tribute band? What did you think? Let us know! Comment below or e-mail me at tips2livebywriter@gmail.com.


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