George Clinton funks up Richmond

“We’re gonna party like it’s 1979,” George Clinton said at Saturday’s concert on Brown’s Island.

Clinton, who performed with the P-Funk All-Stars, created that atmosphere by turning each song into a 15- to 20-minute jam session while preaching to the audience about various non-sensical topics between songs.

He is the mastermind behind the funk bands Parliament and Funkadelic. Members from both bands, as well as some new members, were playing with him.

The elaborate Mothership that I was looking forward to was not present Saturday night. In it’s place was a helium balloon that slightly resembled a UFO.

Aside from that let down the show was great. It was the most bizarre concert that I have attended but it was extremely entertaining.

The stage overflowed at times with about 15 people singing and playing instruments at once. However, there was hardly a moment that I watched anyone but the orange-haired man in the center of the stage.

Clinton was amazing. His energy, particularly for a 62-year-old, outshined the younger members of his ensemble.

The one person who could steal attention from Clinton was a guitarist wearing a diaper. His guitar solos were lengthy and at times overdone, but his ensemble had ‘entertainment value’ written all over it.

Sir Nose, who Clinton described as “devoid of funk,” was another interesting character.

After a few fast-paced songs, which added up to an hour and 45 minutes, Clinton brought the energy down with some mellow songs like “Free your mind and your a-s will follow.”

The concert had an amazingly diverse audience. It was

interesting that Clinton could connect with teenagers and 30-year-olds as well as people closer to his age. That is one reason his career has spanned five decades, his first major hit was in 1967, and shows no sign of slowing.

He relates so well with younger people because he is

constantly working with them. Saturday night he brought a young female rapper onstage to jam with him. He has also worked with artists like OutKast and Missy Elliot.

While the audience loved Clinton, they were not as pleased with the opening act, DJ Kool. Having to stall for two and a half hours until Clinton arrived must have been difficult, but he did not handle the pressure well.

When he was not talking about his Pepsi commercial appearances, DJ Kool was playing the same songs repeatedly.

The audience responded well to his song, “Let me clear my throat,” but he cut it off before the song could finish.

By the two-hour mark audience members were hostilely yelling for him to get off the stage.

Thankfully, the pseudo-Mothership landed and Clinton funked Brown’s Island up.

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