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Taken from The Boston Globe (JUne 06, 2019)

An otherworldly farewell show from George Clinton and P-Funk

by James Sullivan, Globe Correspondent

George Clinton with Parliament Funkadelic. (Photo: Ben Stas for The Boston Globe)
George Clinton (center) performed with Parliament Funkadelic at the Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion. (Photo: Ben Stas for The Boston Globe)

What happens when George Clinton boards the Mothership and leaves this Earth for good? The rapidly warming planet just might cool off a little bit.

At 77, the bandleader known as Dr. Funkenstein, among other things, is on a farewell tour, dusting audiences with one last dose of heavy psychedelic soul before he rides off into the galaxy. Clinton and his entourage, crowded and rowdy as ever, took over the Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion on Wednesday for a 100-minute dash through his Parliament Funkadelic collective's greatest hits and recent moonshots, with several individual showcases in between.

"Do not attempt to adjust your radio. There is nothing wrong," came the disembodied voice of Clinton's emcee as the sprawling band took the stage, the leader in an acid-washed cloak and a glittering checkerboard top hat. Following a smoking instrumental jam led by core P-Funk musicians including bassist Lige Curry and guitarist Garrett Shider (whose father, the late Garry Shider, was the band's longtime "diaper man"), the stage filled with more guitarists, a spangled female chorus, assorted hype men, the large trumpeter Bennie Cowan, Clinton's rapping adult grandson, Tra'zae, and more.

By the end of the night, as the band closed with an unstoppable jam on "Atomic Dog," they were joined by a couple dozen of their most enthusiastic, dressed-to-impress fans plucked from the front rows.

From the supercharged black rock of "Super Stupid" to the manifesto "One Nation Under a Groove" and the contagious playground singalong of "Flash Light," the band gave its diverse audience - not full, but sated - what they wanted. Hip-hop fans probably recognized "(Not Just) Knee Deep" as the song prominently sampled on De La Soul's "Me Myself and I." Hard rockers blissed out to "Maggot Brain," the hypnotic, slow-boiling guitar instrumental that comes across like the "Free Bird" of funk. And everyone joined in on the ageless lyrics of "Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker)": "Oww, we need the funk, we gotta have that funk."

Throughout, Clinton looked like a proud grandpapa. He stepped up front for bursts of activity, conducting the crowd and pogoing to the beat while flinging imaginary confetti from an imaginary box. There was, in fact, a whole lot of rhythm goin' round.

Early arrivals were treated to several support acts, including New Orleans mainstays Galactic and the ska-punk-funk LA band Fishbone, who got the party started with a high-energy set. Frontman Angelo Moore cartwheeled, played saxophone and theremin, and marched out deep into the audience on the backs of the seats, letting it be known this would be no lazy sit-down show.

But it was Clinton, who spent part of his time onstage sitting behind his front-line performers, who made sure that everyone in the joint was in a funk, all night long.

GEORGE CLINTON AND Parliament Funkadelic, At Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion, Wednesday


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