Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The Mother Ship Has Landed

Now I've seen some crazy-ass shit on stage in my day, but what I've just witnessed on dvd tops 'em all. I've recently acquired a pro-shot video of the Parliament/Funkadelic 3.21.78 performance of the "Flash Light Tour" at the Summit in Houston, TX. These motherfuckers are rockstar HIGH!
The evening begins with a groovy little cartoon that explains how Dr. Funkenstein has returned to the planet to discover that Sir Nose D'Voidoffunk has removed all the Funkentelechy with assistance from the Placebo Syndrome. Uhhhhhhh, ok. That's when the "j" drops and the band kicks in on the down beat.
The 'Funkentelechy Medley' is up first. The bank of horns and back up singers start it off with a groove so fat that you've got to check your blood pressure before you go any further. What looks to be a silver fabric covered pimp mobile then rolls out on stage and none other that George Clinton himself pops out as if from a trap door on the stage. Dressed in a blood red beret, black silk scarf, and a silver flame covered fringe outfit that has a vampire collar as high as he is(and this is probably his most conservative outfit of the evening!). Did I mention that he also has on what appears to be a pair of giant lime green novelty sunglasses? Well, he does.
Throughout the show there are never less that a dozen people on stage funkin' so hard I have to believe The Summit was actually sliding on its foundation farther and farther down Highway 59 South. The entire audience has 3 foot long illuminated "light sabers", but I suppose they had to call them "flash lights" to keep from getting sued and also to maintain their street cred. Nearly everyone in the band has some sort of silver or gold lame cape on as well.
And this band if funkin' tight as a schoolgirl. With the simple wave of a hand, they shift gears from funk to super funk and then back again. The funk they brought to the house is so nasty, no amount of remodeling by the "Oasis of Love" is gonna scrape it all off. And the grooves go on forever! How anyone this high can remember an arrangement this crazy is beyond me. The nickname "Dr. Funkenstein" is right on the money. Clinton leads and cheers his band on for the entire 2 hour funkfest without losing an ounce of enthusiasm(but probably going through an ounce of white powder in the process!)
Never fear, George ain't the only star of the show. Garry Shider, diaper-clad-guitarist-extraordinaire, flies down from the rafters with a strobe light ray gun shooting the funk to the back of the house for those in the cheap seats. A six foot tall flash light and the infamous Sir Nose even make an appearance. But, hands down, the climax of the show is when the gigantic flashing, smoke shooting, tin foil covered Mothership makes its landing on stage. As the door opens, out steps Clinton clad in a flowing navel length white wig and dressed head to toe in a fur-lined pimpish white suit that would make Elvis crawl back in to Graceland crying like a baby. This is some serious funk here folks.
Like I said, these guys are wild, weird and funkin' high as kites. Nevertheless, they put on one hell of a theatrical rock show oozing with so much funk that a dunk in Buffalo Bayou ain't got nothin' on these mofo's. The music is amazing, but the visual experience is what really shoots this performance off in to the psychedelic funk-filled stratosphere. Alls I can say is, good-god-damn!

BTW, has anyone seen where I put my funkentelechy?


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