"The system is broken," Prince told the crowd, adding, "It's up to you young folks to fix it"

By Alex Heigl
Updated May 11, 2015 12:55 PM
Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun/AP

For a man who once sent his team to the set of New Girl to make sure the show’s production stage wouldn’t clash with his purple wardrobe, Prince was more concerned about another color in Baltimore Sunday night.

“Wear something gray,” requested promotional materials for the artist’s “Rally 4 Peace” concert, a reference to Freddie Gray, who died in police custody last month in the Maryland city.

Prince played a song he’d written in the aftermath of Gray’s death and the subsequent riots in Baltimore that followed Gray’s funeral, titled “Baltimore,” though he mixed it into a set that otherwise largely contained hits like “Let’s Go Crazy.”

“The system is broken,” he shouted to the crowd at the Royal Farms Arena at one point. “It’s up to you young folks to fix it.”

Prince reportedly invited family members of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Gray to the concert – Brown’s mother was snapped backstage with Beyoncé and Alicia Keys.

And at least one person was upgraded from a $22 seat to the front row by the singer, according to Twitter.

Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby, an avid Prince fan, was invited onstage at one point. According to the Baltimore Sun, her tickets were a Mother’s Day gift from her husband, Councilman Nick Mosby.

Luther Washington and his wife Beate paid about $200 apiece for their floor seats at the show – Prince pledged that a portion of the ticket proceeds would go to Baltimore-based youth charities – but told the Sun the price was worth it. (The event was also broadcast live on Jay Z’s streaming service Tidal.)

“This city could use a little joy, a little healing; Prince will do that,” Washington said.