When Prince Came to Philadelphia

Rock royalty Prince, who died today, showed up at Egypt nightclub 20 years ago. He played the Electric Factory 18 years ago today.

Prince performs at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., February, 18, 1985.

Prince performs at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., February, 18, 1985.

“Nobody knew if the Artist was going to come. And no one knew if he was going to perform,” Lisa Acchione of Egypt nightclub told MTV in 1997. She had been given barely a week’s notice that the Artist Formerly Known As Prince was planning to show up at Egypt for an afterparty on July 26th, following his Jam of the Year concert at the CoreStates Center. The catch was the elusive musician wasn’t known for making concrete plans.

But Prince did appear, well after midnight, to play covers of James Brown and the Isley Brothers for 2,000 people packed into the club.

If you weren’t lucky enough to be one of those fans, maybe you saw him the following spring during the New Power Soul tour, which made a stop at the Electric Factory 18 years ago today.

He played here just seven times in his long career, starting with the Tower Theater in 1982. Check out Prince owning the stage on the same tour (stick around for the shirt removal at 8:12):

When he came back for his final Philadelphia shows in 2004, it was for three nights at the 20,000-seat Wachovia Center, as a new inductee into the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame.

And even if it wasn’t in person, we all watched Prince’s epic Super Bowl XLI halftime show — “Purple Rain” in the rain.

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