Local Wire

Purple Reign @ Talking Stick Resort

If you missed these exquisite Prince and the Revolution impersonators when they swung through town a year ago, well, here's your chance to party like it's 2010. Led by singer-guitarist/Prince doppleganger Jason Tenner, the Reign has shot to the top of America's tribute-band food chain, scoring a gig on Late Night with David Letterman (bandleader/effete sidekick dude Paul Shaffer called them "fabulous") and selling out casinos and mid-size venues almost at will (both their Friday and Saturday shows at Casino Arizona sold out last January). Though talented from top to bottom, the band's bread and butter is clearly Tenner, whose shamelessly sexualized neck slides and limber stage acrobatics (not to mention his Controversy-era pompadour and stiletto boots) uncannily recall the heyday of the artist formerly known as the Artist Formerly Known as Prince. It's an obsessively choreographed spectacle of tribute mimicry that rises to the level of true pop art. Yes, yes, we know — tribute bands are generally odious and best avoided. But these guys aren't your everyday poseurs. In fact, they're world-class poseurs.

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Craig Outhier