Thousands of people – many dressed in gray at Prince's request – turned out for a pop star's "Rally 4 Peace" concert in Baltimore Sunday night.
Prince announced the show last week in the wake of Freddie Gray's death, hoping the show would be a "catalyst for pause and reflection following the outpouring of violence that has gripped Baltimore and areas throughout the U.S."
The mood was celebratory inside the arena Sunday night, the Washington Post says, while a small group of protesters gathered outside the venue.
For two and a half hours, including several encores, the Purple One played hits from the early 1980s and '90s, with a few songs about protest mixed in, including "Baltimore," the track he released online Saturday, the New York Times reports.
The only mention of Gray – who died last month while in police custody, sparking protests and unrest throughout the city – came during the new track, the newspaper notes.
"The system is broken. It's going to take the young people to fix it this time. We need new ideas, new life. ... The next time I come to Baltimore I want to stay in a hotel owned by you," Prince said about two hours into the show during his song "Purple Rain," the Baltimore Sun reports.
The New York Times says those comments were the most "direct sermonizing" he did throughout the performance, which featured special musical guests rapper Doug E. Fresh and R&B singers Estelle and Miguel. Prince was also joined on stage by Maryland State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby – who drew applause earlier this month after announcing charges against six police officers in Gray's death.
Prince also took a jab at the curfews that were instated following a series of violent protests in the city, saying: "To those who have lost loved one, we are your servants tonight, we're here for you. ... There’s no curfew, so there’s no telling how long this is gonna go.” CNN notes.
The Washington Post notes many people living in the neighborhood Gray is from probably wouldn't have been able to afford tickets to the show, with the newspaper adding many of the concertgoers were from outside of Baltimore.
A portion of ticket sales will go to youth charities in the city, Live Nation said in the concert announcement.
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