Draggin' the Line
It was just before intermission at Prince's November 6 show at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. The band was moving through "Anna Stesia" when Prince stepped to the mike and began preaching forcefully, describing his need to finish the show on a different plane than the sexually-charged first half.
"You know, God isn't going to come down out of the sky and make things right for you. You've got to get things ready for Him. You've got to make things right so God will want to come out and play....Now, put your hand over your heart. Look inside yourself. God is in there."
Softly playing a guitar figure of almost unbearable beauty, Prince paused, then said: "Take your hand away. Let him out." Then, almost whispering, "Cross the line, Los Angeles, cross the line."
Prince's lyrics don't give a very clear picture of his conception of God, but the Lovesexy stage show gives definite clues about what he thinks might bring the Almighty out to play. A thoroughly mixed nine-piece band of blacks, whites, and Latins plays to an audience of similar composition that's out of its seats dancing most of the time. The presentation is democratic--due to the theatre-in-the-round staging by the end of the evening you've seen almost as much of the horn players or singer/dancer Cat as you have of the star. Prince has constructed a show that projects America at its best. Operating in a country of unlimited wealth, he sees no limits and asks his listeners to join him in defining the whole thing as God.
Rock & Rap Confidential / 1988