Hammond, Indiana’s Horseshoe Casino is the place to be to have a good time and see some of the best musical performers. The Venue, an auditorium inside the casino, was the setting for one of the best impersonation acts to come about in a long time. The Prince Experience came in presenting all the best works of Prince bringing you back into the 1980’s for a walk down memory lane. What an impressive show!
Gabriel Sanchez was in the lead spot impersonating one of the most fabulous entertainers to ever exist. His ability made you feel like you were actually watching Prince. He sang the parts with perfection, dancing in a way that impeccably mimicked the pop music icon. His strut across the stage, the voice, and everything within his appearance made you believe that ‘the artist formerly known as’ was right in front of you. “It’s Prince!” a young lady shouted. And she was right.
Sanchez danced on the stage in erotic movements that kept the interest of the ladies in the room as he performed exactly like his royal badness. Awesome musical ability was being displayed for the show and was completely beyond belief. The musicianship in everything he did was overwhelming. The guitar work that he pulled off was a strong duplication of the multi-instrumentalist. The authentic reproduction of Prince was done to perfection right down to his signature guitar. He wasn’t just an awesome performer covering someone else’s music. Gabriel Sanchez actually becomes the man that developed the Minneapolis sound.
Some of the songs that were played were: “1999,” “When Dove’s Cry,” “Raspberry Beret,” and “Little Red Corvette.” Definitely the smoothest and coolest musical spot of the show was during “Purple Rain.” The band came in nice and slow during the intro, gradually moving forward into the body of the song. What a monumental performance.
The show was not limited to just Prince Songs. A video clip played from the smash hit movie Purple Rain. When the clip had finished, out walked a classy gentleman, David “Mor-ess Day” Gonzalez. He came out in the roll of Morris Day and stole the show for two songs, “Jungle Love” and “The Bird.” It was an amazing time. He had the look, the sly dance, and the voice down pat. Nobody was there to bring this guy his mirror and from the reaction of the women in the room, he didn’t need it either. Oh EE Oh EE Oh!
Gabriel sat down behind the drums for the song “The Glamorous Life” as one of the background singers, Jennifer Shafer, took the lead for the role of Sheila E. The vocalist that had been hiding in the back came forward and sounded like the real McCoy. The voice was so close to the original cut it was amazing. She has such an awesome vocal ability and tone.
During the pop masterpiece, drummer Junior Gamaz, stepped to the front of the stage while his kit was kept warm for him. At the front of the stage was a set of timbales. He proceeded to nail the Latin percussion parts within the song. Then, without stopping, Junior and Gabriel switched spots on drums without missing a beat. They were simultaneously playing the six piece kit as Gamaz regained his throne. Gabriel may have been Prince, but Junior Gamaz was the king of the kit.
During the entire show Gamaz held down the clock with precision. His hard hits and flash was so perfect for this group. When it came time for his drum solo it wasn’t like any other show boating that has been seen by other drummers. His original technique was refreshing to see and was quite clear that this man has rehearsed. There was a drum trigger that he would hit to get other sounds and accompaniment during his outing of becoming one with the audience. The drum rolls would run around the kit with such finesse captivating the onlookers.
The other half of the dynamic duo of background singers, Tracy Sparks, came forward to sing a duet with Gabriel. The song “Nothing Compares 2 U” was done flawlessly. During the entire show, Tracy’s voice could be heard, but she finally had her moment to shine. It was really a shame to not hear this angelic voice more in the lead.
The sax player, Peter Neumer, was a tremendous feature of the show. The solos were incredible to hear. The prolific player created some of the best sounds of the evening and kept hitting high notes that made everyone smile. This player was no amateur. A seasoned professional could only pull off the parts he played. He was amazing in everything he did. The show would not have been the same without him.
G Money filled in the bottom end on bass with funky lines that you could feel within your soul. Amazing slapping techniques came from the mighty hands of this bassist that helped to move the feet of the concert goers. The ace of the thick gauged strings definitely did more than hold the root of the chord; he rose to the level of supremacy.
Andrew “Droopy” Walker brought his guitar skills forward and it was sweet. The man brought his six string out to play and he tore it up. Unbelievable guitar parts were strummed, picked, plucked, and flaunted so effortlessly. He played the parts so well leaving a lasting impression for everyone that paid the price of admission for the show.
Mitch “the doctor” Cooper played the ebony and ivory keys providing the perfect sounds on every ditty that was duplicated. His fingers ran up and down the boards quickly. Nothing was less than superb when he played and he was on fire. The sounds obtained were just like the original recordings. One word describes Mitch. Fantastic!
All of the incredible performers during this show pulled together their talents and made everyone believe they had just seen Prince. Gabriel Sanchez played the part so well it could’ve fooled the biggest fans. This is definitely a must see show if you are now or ever have been a fan of Prince.
As the show came to a close in Hammond, everyone wanted to hear more music from The Prince Experience. The impersonators took you for a trip back to the 1980’s for a ride amongst hit songs. Gabriel Sanchez led the audience and the pack of musicians on a triumphant journey through these magical numbers. He danced with the ladies in the audience, charming his way through the performance. This was truly the place to be.