“Let’s Go Crazy.” “When Doves Cry.” “Purple Rain.”
The music of Prince needs no introduction. In the time between his debut in 1978 and untimely death in 2016, the multi-platinum artist dominated music and pop culture with a string of innovative, eclectic, and provocative recordings that endure to this day.
But Prince was one man, and it took an entire band to bring his music to life both in and outside of the studio.
That band was The Revolution. And they’re headlining the Phillips Backyard Weekender with a 90-minute set on Sunday, July 22.
The Revolution goes on and on
Formed in 1979, The Revolution was assembled by Prince himself and was credited on three of his studio albums, including 1984’s Purple Rain. The collaboration produced a dizzying number of hit singles that took popular music by storm.
But keyboardist Matt Fink (who goes by Dr. Fink) says that even at the time, he knew they were on to something big.
“You never know what’s gonna happen when you’re starting out with this kind of endeavor,” Fink says. “But I knew that [Prince] was special. I knew that he would do well.”
Forty years later, The Revolution is proving their relevancy in an era where music streaming, not physical media, is the name of the game.
Fink recounts playing a festival in California where Robert Plant, the former frontman of Led Zeppelin, was headlining. “He’s a prime example of a highly successful artist coming out of one of the biggest, most iconic groups of all time … and reinventing himself,” Fink says.
“People go see him, his fanbase from those days is still around, and then he’s starting to bring in younger kids. That’s how we feel about how we are, and our place in the world,” he adds. “All of our fans that come to shows, a lot of them bring their kids. So we’re being discovered by a younger generation.”
Backyard Weekender show will honour Prince’s legacy
While Fink says the grieving process is waning since Prince’s death in 2016, he admits that he and the other members still grapple with the loss. “We’re starting to feel comfortable being out there playing again,” he says.
The Revolution will perform their first-ever show in Victoria at the Phillips Backyard in just over a week. In addition to the songs fans can expect to hear on July 22, the band will pull out some deep cuts that haven’t been performed in a while—some even going as far back as 30 years.
“It’s a treat for the fans, and it’s a treat for us,” Fink says. “It’s fun to resurrect some of that stuff, and go back to some of the old arrangements that Prince did.”
And after that? Fink hopes the band will find opportunity to release some original music—and maybe even some unreleased Prince recordings.
“Odds are very high that we’ll even release some material that we’ve done with Prince that hasn’t seen the light of day,” Fink says.
It’s easy to see how fans might go crazy for that.
Phillips Backyard Weekender
Where: The Phillips Backyard, 2010 Government St., Victoria
When: Friday, July 20, to Sunday, July 22
Tickets: $106.50 for three-day weekend pass | $39.50 for day pass | Ticket info