Before jetting off to launch a four-month European and Japanese tour, Prince took over Rupert's Nightclub in Minneapolis on April 30 for his first concert in 18 months. Sporting a scruffy beard and acting playful, Prince tried out new dance steps and previewed ''The Question of U'' from his upcoming summer movie and album, a Purple Rain sequel called Graffiti Bridge.
Besides serving as a tryout for Prince's new eight-piece band, the show was a benefit for the family of Charles ''Chick'' Huntsberry, a former Prince bodyguard who died of heart disease in April. The music was anything but somber, though. Opening with ''The Future'' from the Batman soundtrack, Prince shelved funk rhythms for harder rock & roll. The two-hour set included ''1999'' and ''Purple Rain,'' as well as the more recent ''Alphabet St.'' and ''Scandalous.'' Prince even sat down at the piano for a rare performance of ''Nothing Compares 2 U,'' a song he wrote in 1985 that Sinead O'Connor recently took to No. 1.
For those who couldn't afford the $100 tickets, Prince repeated the show on May 6 at the St. Paul Civic Center. When can other U.S. fans expect to see Prince? Concerts are tentatively scheduled for October, but don't expect the retrospective show Prince gave in Minnesota; he's planning an elaborate Graffiti Bridge presentation.