prince-1025

Fans line up outside Royal Farms Arena before Prince’s Baltimore concert Sunday, May 10, 2015. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

Just a few weeks after unrest put the city of Baltimore into lockdown mode, Prince came to town to play a concert on May 10. Billed as a Rally 4 Peace, the event looked to bring a bit of joy back to the city, as well as raise funds for local charities.

Concert-goers were asked to wear gray in support of Freddie Gray, who died while in police custody, and whose death set off a wave of protests across the city.

During the concert, Prince and his band played several encores, and the legendary musician even hosted State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby and her husband on stage.

So did the Purple One do what he came to Baltimore to do?

At Mondawmin Mall, the place where the violent protests first began, Wendell Pender said he thought so.

“It definitely gave them something entertaining, something more lively,” he said. “We needed a change. The city has been in a drought. A downward spiral. You still see people kinda leery, some stores were leery about opening back up.”

Prince Concert Baltimore

Longtime fan Nikki Harris of Baltimore shows off her embroidered Prince jacket. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

Pender said that the looting went far beyond any reasonable protest. He said the looters, many of them young people, didn’t realize that they weren’t hurting anyone but themselves.

“It wasn’t about Freddie Gray anymore,” he said.

Donte Rogers said that Prince was one of the few people who was not looking to benefit off of the chaos that followed Gray’s death.

“I think he was showing love,” Donte Rogers said about the Prince concert . “He could have a concert and sell out anywhere.”

Prince Concert Baltimore

Longtime fan Luther Washington, stationed at Ft Meade, shows off his Prince tattoo. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

At Flair Studio of Dance and Modeling in Catonsville, Md., mothers who were waiting for their children to finish up dance class were a bit more skeptical.

“As long as the money went to where it was supposed to,” said Brittany Van Dyke, adding that many of the kids who looted probably didn’t feel the same significance. “It was a stress reliever for the parents,” she said.

“Around the concert, and maybe three days after, people were excited,” said Terra Parker. “Things were good, and then they went back to what they were. I know he made a song for Baltimore. I haven’t heard it on 92Q or any of the radio stations.”

Andrea Travis, who runs the studio, said she didn’t think Mosby should have been so visible at the concert, as she is the focus of much public scrutiny.

“It’s ok to be there, but to come up onstage – I don’t think that was appropriate,” Travis said. “I think she should have laid low.”