live music: GEORGE CLINTON x P-FUNK x BB KINGS x 2.8.12

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic at BB Kings. Photo by Joe Russo.

BB Kings, NYC 2.8.12 – The almighty George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic train made a stop at BB King’s last week. Over the years I kept saying I wanted to go see them perform and for whatever reason, I never made it. So that got me thinking…when was the last time I saw Clinton and P-Funk? Turns out it was during the 4th annual Lollapalooza Tour in 1994 on Randalls Island in NYC. And from what I remember…it was a great show.

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic at BB Kings. Photo by Joe Russo.

Fast foward 18 years to this show…where you’ll now find George Clinton without his signature hair, colorful feathers and flamboyant robes/attire. It’s almost as if he’s matured or grown up yet the stage mayhem is still just as funky [and smokey] as I remember it being.

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic at BB Kings. Photo by Joe Russo.

Tonight there was no photo pit up front and the floor tables had been cleared. I grabbed a spot right up front stage left [or is it right?]…left of center. Shortly thereafter, Clinton and P-Funk stormed the stage and immediately built up the crowd into a funky fever; nice and warm and topped with a 20 minute “I Betcha” opening funk jam. The smoked out crowd was singing all the words and bopping along to every note P-Funk was laying down.

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic at BB Kings. Photo by Joe Russo.

The stage was packed full of musicians, back up singers and back up musicians. It was really tight up there…and the lights were kept on the low…this one wasn’t easy to shoot. No lateral movement either.

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic at BB Kings. Photo by Joe Russo.

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic at BB Kings. Photo by Joe Russo.

Setlist included: I Betcha, Me and My folks, Mr. Wiggles, One Nation, Knee Deep, Atomic Dog, Flashlight.

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic at BB Kings. Photo by Joe Russo.

During “Flashlight”, Clinton was working the crowd, even stopping by me and my camera with his mic…stuck it in my face where I sang the chorus.

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic at BB Kings. Photo by Joe Russo.

Other songs included: Mothership Connection, Give up the funk, Night of the Thumpasaurus People, Maggot Brain, Somethin Stank, Hard as Steel and a few others. George brought out his grandson/daughter to sing their hip hop song…not very impressed. Later in the set, Michael “Kidd Funkadelic” Hampton tore into “Maggot Brain” with a double-neck guitar and the crowd went nuts. The 2 horn players sounded great. I really wish Bernie Worrell and Bootsy Collins were still in the band.

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic at BB Kings. Photo by Joe Russo.

Back up singer, Kim Manning donned a set of roller skates and danced around the tight stage for a song.

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic at BB Kings. Photo by Joe Russo.

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic at BB Kings. Photo by Joe Russo.

“Sir Nose” was in full effect on stage, doing gymnastics and dry humping a random woman from the crowd. I guess it was so much fun…Clinton had to join in.

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic at BB Kings. Photo by Joe Russo.

At the mid point of the show, Clinton started hitting up the crowd for weed…to which the crowd promptly responded by passing up joints to the stage…where George and crew smoked each and every one of them.

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic at BB Kings. Photo by Joe Russo.

All in all…a very fun show none-the-less. Super-crowded and the lights were a little dark/red but I think these came out fine.

You can see the rest of the photoset here.

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