By Kevin Rutherford

Saturday Night Live is known for breaking up each episode with a brief foray out of comedy and into the world of music, generally twice per show: once around midnight and again shortly before 1 a.m.

But when Prince was announced as musical guest for the Nov. 1 episode of SNL with Chris Rock as host, it was billed as a unique performance: for the first time, an artist would perform once for an extended period of time, without commercial interruption.

Prince and his backing band, 3RDEYEGIRL, made good on that promise as the clock struck midnight. The rocker performed a medley of tunes from his pair of new albums, ART OFFICIAL AGE and PLECTRUMELECTRUM, which came out last September, showing off new material while exhibiting the form and stage presence that made him a star from the start.

Related: Kendrick Lamar to Guest on ‘Saturday Night Live’

The rollicking set began with “Clouds,” performed as a duet with Lianne La Havas. The performance opened with a shot of some clouds, taking the song quite literally, before the camera lowered onto Prince, donning his three-lensed sunglasses from the cover of ART OFFICIAL AGE.

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