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Prince's New Power Generation come together to honor late musician in tribute concert

Prince's band remembers him with special show at the Uptown Theater in Minneapolis
Prince's band remembers him with special show at the Uptown Theater in Minneapolis 02:48

MINNEAPOLIS — Eight years after Prince died from an accidental fentanyl overdose, thousands of his fans are flocking to the Twin Cities.

Celebrations are set all weekend to celebrate the life and legacy of one of Minnesota's favorite sons. Members of the original New Power Generation are preparing to give fans the concert of a lifetime.

"Putting this particular combination of people together there is a spiritual thing that begins to happen," said Michael Bland.

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Original members of Prince's New Power Generation — Michael Bland, Sonny Thompson, Tommy Barbarella, Levi Searcer, Jr. and Tony M — are back together again for one night of celebrating Prince's life and the music that inspired him.

"We're talking about his legacy and ours, so they are going to get our very best," Bland said.

It's like no time has passed since they've last created music together. 

"Its like there is so much energy, psychic information bouncing back and forth between everybody it's an uncontrollable force," said Bland.

It's a force determined to keep the music so many loved alive.

"We're doing this for Prince — what we've experienced with him, what we learned from him and what we can give back in his absence and he's not here. That's why through us, his music is going to live," said Thompson.

New Power Generation is ready to bring this celebration of life to the Uptown Theatre, but playing without Prince can be hard.

"I'm still kind of emotionally confused — it's like I don't have closure. I know how to grieve I've grieved for people before, but this is different," Bland said.

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"It's just so hard for me sometimes to play this music but with these guys around its more like a support-like therapy," Thompson said.

It's allowing this talented group time to focus on what comes next. 

For Michael Bland and Sonny Thompson, it's new music, a collaboration called Brothers. It's that Minneapolis sound with a little funk and lots of love. Music, they believe Prince would be proud of.

"I want to bring a spirit of great music, I want to bring a spirit of love and a spirit of unity into the audience, and they can come out and enjoy great music and go home feeling better than they did coming in that door, " Thompson said.

The Tribute concert and release of new music by The Brothers takes place Saturday at the Uptown Theatre. Tickets are still availalbe. 

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