Following Prince’s untimely death at the age of 57 last Thursday, dozens of his peers have taken to the stage to pay tribute to the fallen artist. David Gilmour’s soaring mashup stands out as one of the best.
Bathed in purple light on Sunday evening at London’s Royal Albert Hall, the iconic guitarist-singer closed out the gig with a stunning combination of his Pink Floyd classic “Comfortably Numb” and Prince’s “Purple Rain”—a guitar-centric tribute from one Guitar God to another.
As the band entered the final solo of Gilmour’s live staple “Numb,” they seamlessly transitioned into Prince’s legendary album-closing “Purple Rain” solo, complete with the backing trio of vocalists singing the “Ooh” refrain.
The tribute solo-blend represented a departure from Gilmour’s rigidly structured Rattle That Lock tour setlist, which includes a variety of Pink Floyd classics and latter-day material mixed in with songs from the guitarist’s two most recent solo albums.
Other premier musicians to introduce Prince tributes over the weekend included Bruce Springsteen’s “Purple Rain” cover to open his Saturday night Brooklyn show; Elton John’s monologue honoring the late artist during his Vegas set; Stevie Wonder’s version of “Purple Rain” on CBS This Morning; and Sufjan Stevens’s rendition of the same classic song during his Coachella gig.
Gilmour previously covered “Purple Rain” back in 1992 when he provided lead guitar for Tom Jones’s The Right Time ITV television mini-series.