The forces of funk took the Aggie Theatre hostage Sept. 8.
For more than three hours George Clinton and the
Parliament/Funkadelic delivered a non-stop rollercoaster ride of
music that put a glide in your stride and a dip in your hips.
The Aggie was packed with legions of fans who wanted nothing
more than to be engulfed by the power of “funkadelica.”
The band took stage, while thunderous applause echoed off the
walls, and the 10-plus members wasted no time. Immediately the
music was blaring and butts were shaking.
For the first couple of songs, the godfather of funk himself,
George Clinton, was nowhere to be seen. But after a furious
rendition of “Bop Gun (Endangered Species),” Clinton casually
strolled out. With his signature rainbow dreadlocks (if that hair
is still real) bouncing around on his head, he grabbed the mic and
took control. Decked out in a gigantic orange sweatshirt, baggy
jeans and sunglasses, Clinton came ready to get down.
The crowd remained hyped up and lively throughout the entire
evening. The Aggie Theatre floor morphed into a dance party that
looked like joyful chaos and reeked of sweat.
Clinton and the Parliament/Funkadelic blasted out funk classics
“Give Up the
Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker),” “Atomic Dog” and “Up For
Stroke” that have become regular material at the group’s live
Clinton left the stage at one point during the middle of the
show, and he let the band rip through “Maggot Brain,” a meandering
funk classic that goes on and on, like a Parliament/ Funkadelic
Unlike last year when the group performed at the Mishawaka
Amphitheatre, this time
Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic performed its own funky
interpretations of other musicians’ songs. The lead guitarist,
wearing only a diaper made out of a towel, wailed on the main riff
of Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Chile,” and for the rapturous encore the
group jammed Jerry Lee Lewis’s “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On.” The
most surprising song the members put a funk spin to was Lil’ Jon
and the Eastside Boyz’s club anthem “Get Low.”
Everywhere you looked people loved the sounds that were
vibrating through their eardrums. Audience members were a sight to
see themselves, as some sported headbands, sashes, bracelets, even
suspenders made out of caution tape, goofy costumes or their
regular garb. Regardless of the attire, the whole audience was
guided by one thing – funk.
One concertgoer, wearing a cape and a Lost Lake beer box on his
head, was draped in Christmas lights. Throughout the entire concert
he held up an extension cord, trying to get plugged in on stage.
The closest he got was when the guitarist plugged the cord into his
belly-button, a hilarious sight to say the least.
George Clinton, 65, is known as the originator of funk music.
Ever since he started playing with the bands Parliament and
Funkadelic more than 30 years ago, to his solo career of the 1980s,
to the non-stop touring schedule he has kept in the last decade,
Clinton never stops bringing music to the masses. Even an arrest
last fall for possession of cocaine and a crack pipe (he was
sentenced to community service and probation) didn’t slow him
The awesome part of experiencing Clinton and
Parliament/Funkadelic live is how much the group engages the
audience. Clinton and fellow members are constantly giving
high-fives to everyone in the first rows and they invite audience
members up on stage to dance.
It was nearing 1:30 a.m., and finally the funk had to cease.
Aggie Theatre actually pulled the plug on the performance. With
their ears ringing, their bodies saturated in sweat and their
voices shot, the audience members slowly filed outside.
The funk was over for now. But for more than three hours,
everybody in the Aggie Theatre was “one nation under a groove.”