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Rock Star Prince Opens U.S. Tour In Hometown

September 15, 1988

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) _ Rock star Prince, who helped develop the funky ″Minneapolis sound″ that put the city on the national music map, got a royal welcome as he kicked off his first U.S. tour in four years before a cheering hometown crowd.

Prince dazzled the near-capacity crowd Wednesday night with virtuoso guitar playing, soulful singing and quick dance steps reminiscent of an early James Brown.

″Love. Can it be trusted?″ the 30-year-old singer asked at one point in the 2 1/2 -hour performance. He led the crowd in chanting ″Love is God. God is love.″

″We can love. It’s so much easier than hating. ... It’s easier than dying,″ he said.

Prince frequently urged the crowd to clap and sing along.

″I’m from Minneapolis. I’d really appreciate it,″ he shouted.

Performing in a theater-in-the-round setting on an elaborate $2 million stage designed for his ″Lovesexy″ tour, Prince gyrated with his female dancer, Cat, among a giant urban playground that included a basketball hoop and a swing set.

The lithe Prince emerged onstage in numerous different flashy costumes. At one point he ripped off his jacket, flipping it toward the screaming crowd. During part of the concert he appeared shirtless, during another segment he wore a long leather trenchcoat.

The ″Lovesexy″ tour makes its U.S. debut following a highly-successful European tour. The tour continues through October.

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