Thursday, March 17, 2011

Prince's "Welcome 2 America" tour six-date trek through the Carolinas was announced less than a week ago, and people haven't stopped talking about it. Tickets went on sale Monday morning and several of my friends (close ones and Facebook ones) were typing in their credit card numbers, eager to get good seats. Well, today brings another announcement: the artists who will open for Prince at each stop in the Carolinas.

For the March 24 concert at Time Warner Cable Arena here in Charlotte, Prince's special guest will be Anthony Hamilton. Anthony, of course, is a platinum-selling, Grammy-winning artist in his own right. He's also, as you should know, a Charlotte native (and good friend of Grown People Talking). This will be his second concert this month in his hometown. On March 4, he headlined "Anthony Hamilton and Friends" at The Fillmore Charlotte (click here to see photos).

Anthony Hamilton performed at The Fillmore Charlotte earlier this month.
Photo by Jon Strayhorn / Media Arts Collective.

Anthony's concert at The Fillmore was an intimate performance that allowed him to be close to fans at the 2,000-seat venue. Opening for Prince, will elevate him to rock-star status as TWC Arena holds 18,000 for concerts and it looks like the short-notice show might sell out. I would think that many of Prince's fans are fans of Anthony, and if they aren't, they most likely will be after this concert. Anthony puts on a great show, and his catalog of hits (from hooks on rap songs to the contagious "Charlene" to the love ballad "The Point Of It All") is prime for the wide age range of fans who are coming out to see Mr. Purple Rain.

Prince's opening acts at the other Carolinas shows, according to Live Nation:

Colonial Life Arena in Columbia on March 21 with Mint Condition; RBC Center in Raleigh on March 23 and Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro on March 26 with Chaka Khan; Bi-Lo Center in Greenville, S.C. on March 28 and North Charleston Coliseum in North Charleston on March 30 with Lalah Hathaway.


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