DeKalb goes crazy for Prince tribute

By Jamie O'Toole, Columnist

DeKALB — Dean Ford and the Beautiful Ones brought the legendary Prince back from the dead and defied the artist’s typical age demographic by mirroring his image and executing his music flawlessly for all generations to enjoy.

The concert was held Saturday at the Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. Second St.

Before the band walked onto the stage an automated female voice said, “Don’t worry, I won’t hurt you. I only want you to have some fun.” 

What a fitting introduction this turned out to be because the audience certainly had fun with no harm done.

Ford entered the stage in classic Prince fashion: a long dark red coat with bedazzled shoulders and flowy white sleeves peeking out at the cuff. 

The lead singer matched the vibe of each song perfectly, whether the vibe was lusty, edgy or groovy. 

As soon as Prince’s hit song “Let’s Go Crazy” erupted through the speakers, the entire audience stood up and started dancing. 

The crowd drifted into the aisle, spinning their significant others, before finally gathering in the tiny space between the chairs and stage to dance near the band as they played the classics of Prince. 

While the crowd did not lack movement, the band members did, missing the hype energetic presence concerts thrive off of. 

However, that might’ve been the point. The items on the stage, including the piano, microphone stands and the table the keyboard was propped upon were dressed in beautiful flowers. 

When a person passes away, flowers send respect and good luck for the person’s journey to the afterlife, as well as condolences to the family. 

Since this tribute band wanted to bring Prince’s significant impact back to life for fans, the flowers united death and a legacy that lives beyond the grave. 

The purpose of their performance was to replicate Prince’s sound and maintain his legacy, so the lack of energy and movement left all attention on who the band was trying to tribute. 

Dean Ford mirrored Prince almost exactly, and what made the band’s performance as a group so unique was the fact that the audience and group were both fans of Prince’s music. 

The lead singer, Dean Ford, actually exuded more energy towards the end of the show, shredding his guitar and dropping to his knees, passionately stringing along to classics the entire audience knew and loved. 

When the lyrics for the song “Beautiful Ones” ended, the band continued to play, and Ford jammed with them by moving like a worm on the floor. 

The tribute band performed “Kiss,” and by the end of the song, Ford’s shirt was ripped off, and he was gliding all over the stage as the other players stood still. 

As soon as Ford accessed this energetic deliverance of Prince’s music, a few older fans did the sprinkler and held up rock on salutes, while younger generations bopped around and mouthed the lyrics. 

Tribute bands such as Dean Ford and the Beautiful Ones keep important tunes alive for anyone to appreciate, regardless of when they grew up. 

For the encore, the band performed “Purple Rain,” only after the band approved of the audience’s chanting volume. 

Everyone shouted the lyrics to “Purple Rain.” Dozens of phone  flashlights emerged for ambiance. 

Before the lights turned on, indicating the end of the show, the band shared a heart to heart with the crowd.

“We love you; we love Prince,” Ford said.