Donning a dark shawl, afro, and silver-lamé shoes with clear heels that contained flashing red lights, Prince played bandleader and ringmaster to the mostly instrumental psychadelic circus that was his “Soundcheck” set last night at the Dakota.

As the pop-legend led his band upstairs to the crowd, he brandished a baton – and surely lots of mischievous eye contact, as the New-Orleans style procession opened up the hour-long set. The Star Tribune is calling Wednesday night’s performance his jazziest yet, noting six horn players and a pianist helped the Purple One please the crowd without saying more than a few words. KSTP points out his lack of communication with the crowd aside from a playful “psych!” when he teased the 275 die-hard fans with an intro to one of his hits before retreating back to the ensemble-fueled jazz session.

As we reported yesterday, the pop legend announced a string of performances this week that sold out in under an hour. Last night’s “Soundchecks” were also a way to test out his new drummer, Ronald Bruner, who reportedly kept up the pace amidst the Purple One’s direction. The two shows booked under “Jams” will be held tonight, and tomorrow it’s the suspense-filled “Suprise” shows: both of which are rumored to include Prince’s new all-female group of backup singers.