July 21, 2008

George Clinton @ 9:30 Club

This was my first George Clinton and the whatever-he's-calling -his-band-today show. I expected it to be awesome. It was exactly what I expected it to be. In short, a three hour funkfest that left my feet and back so sore I could hardly walk after.

For those who don't know: the Parliament Funkadelic is made up of about 30 or so people. It's a huge party on stage. It's a huge party in the crowd. I was surprised to learn that there would be no opening act, until I figured out why, they played for over three hours with no break (rotating performers in and out so as not to exhaust themselves), and George himself (the guy in the red hair in my blurry photo) didn't take the stage until 40 minutes into the show. He was on stage for about an hour. Took 30 minutes off. Then closed the show.

Some quick observations:

-You probably know that Starchild wears a diaper on stage. What you probably don't know is that Starchild has the most spectacular outie belly button I've ever seen. It was the size of a quarter. He's also a dead-ringer for John Witherspoon.

-Starchild's arch nemesis is Sir Nose Devoid of Funk. I didn't know who that was but I had to google it after the show. Basically, he was some guy dressed like a pimp who just struts around the stage and does handstands. Also, he has amazing abs.

-George Clinton is starting to pack on the lbs. At this point, he reminds me of my uncle Phil, but black. And with multicolored dreads.

-Before the show, I noticed a dreaded gentleman in a brightly colored jacket hanging around the entrance. I later identified this man on stage singing back up vocals amongst the three female backup singers, which I found odd. Later, during Atomic Dog, he grabbed the microphone and started rapping, to which I thought, this guy has GOT to be George Clinton's son. I also thought, this guy is totally taking a dump all over George Clinton's classic. Then George Clinton joined in the rap. Ye gods! Clinton later confirmed my belief saying, "that was my son y'all."

-Later, during one of Starchild's breaks, and about halfway through a song, George Clinton's son pick up Starchild's guitar and started playing, which surprised me, because, you know, he waited until three-fourths of the way through the show to transition from backup singer and Atomic-Dog ruiner to guitarist. Only, he was holding the guitar upside down. Maybe he is Jimmy Hendrix and only elected to entertain us with his stylings for three minutes. Or maybe he was pretending to play daddy's friend's guitar to pass the time because he was bored, which is cool, except that he was at least 22 years old.

-One final note on this guy, somebody passed Old George a joint toward the end of the set. He smoked a couple of hits, then the proud pappa handed it to his son, who took a spectacular drag to kill it. The most impressive thing he did all night.

So I sound like a hater, which isn't fair. I had a blast. An absolute blast. One of the best live shows you are going to see. They played non-stop for three hours, and they weren't going to stop. The 9:30 club turned on the audience lights around 12:30. They didn't stop. They cut the mics around 1:00 a.m. They didn't stop. George mouthed the lyrics to his songs to the crowd, compelling them to chant them while the band kept playing.

Finally, the crowd just tired and the band sort of whimpered out. I was pretty fine with that. I was sweaty. I was exhausted. I'm pretty sure I smelled worse than Starchild's diaper.

No, no I didn't.


awmercy said...

Nice reveiw. Sounds like a sweet concert. Do you think you are going to pick up any fashion tips from the band?

ancientindianwizard said...

That P-Funk mythology link is one of the most confusing/amazing things I've ever read!

Mona said...

...no mention of Bootsy Collins?!?!

kstrait35 said...

i saw them my freshman year in college. they played our spring fling for 4 straight hours with a 30 minute "maggot brain" guitar solo. i had about 10 beers before the concert and a few during the show, and at somepoint decided it would be a good idea to join them onstage. i put one leg up onto the stage but promptly collapsed to the ground. i got up and started dancing again. when the show ended, one of the backup singers slapped hands with the audience. after even a few more beers, i had decided that it would be a good idea to take the shiny black ring on his index finger. i grabbed his hand and pulled pretty hard. he pulled back and eventually won his hand and ring back from my clutches. it was fucking awesome.

Nightrain said...

Cool story Hansel.