Local Current Blog

That time Prince almost played with Gayngs at First Avenue

Prince watching Gayngs perform at First Avenue on May 15, 2010 (Photo by Andy Hardman)

If there’s one thing we’ve learned over these past seven days, it’s that everyone in Minnesota has a Prince story.

A couple of weeks ago, I sat down with the P.O.S to unpack his new song, “Sleepdrone/Superposition,” and talk about his experiences undergoing a kidney transplant and staying creative while battling physical and mental challenges for my podcast, The O.K. Show. Naturally, because His Purpleness comes up all the time here in Minnesota, we ended up spending a few minutes of our chat swapping stories about Prince.

I’m getting ready to launch a new season of The O.K. Show next week, and the episode with P.O.S will debut on June 1. But I couldn’t wait to share this small snippet of our conversation — especially since P.O.S had a front-row seat to one of the most buzzed-about near-misses in recent Minnesota music history.

The night was May 15, 2010, and the Mainroom was filled with white balloons and flowing taffeta. It was the Gayngs prom, a release show for the Ryan Olson-produced album that featured over two dozen musicians from the regional scene, from Doomtree’s P.O.S and Dessa to Justin Vernon, members of Megafaun, and Solid Gold. After hearing a Gayngs song on the Current, Prince headed down to First Avenue to check out the band — and he showed up with guitar in hand, prepared to join in if the mood called for it.

I’ll let P.O.S take it from here:

Most of Prince’s attendance at the Gayngs prom was captured on video, and you can see him standing off to the side and then being greeted by Ryan Olson around the 4:25 mark.

Find my original report on this strange and magical moment here.


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