The funk was knee-deep last Thursday night at the Parliament Funkadelic show. The balconies were brimming and hummed in anticipation of the evening’s set. Earlier, a line of people snaked around the front of the building as fans waited in the rain to be admitted. Once they stepped foot into the vicinity, these lightly drizzled fans were greeted by the warm rhythms of the opening act, Sun Stereo.
Built with a strong brass section, Sun Stereo supplied a heavy hit of electronic-based funk. The lead singer was the focal point of the band, and his deep vocals were the perfect ingredient for the group’s synth and bass elements. Equipped with an onstage LED hooper, this band was the ideal pregame for the noise that George Clinton would soon be sharing.
After Sun Stereo had loosed up the crowd with their own tunes, it was time for the patriarchs of this blessed funk genre to grace the stage. It was like Sun Stereo was standing in the shadow of their own grandparents. As the whole Parliament Funkadelic clique docked the stage, the crowd scooted closer. The entire ensemble was on stage tuning their strings and tapping their keys, while the room waited for George Clinton’s presence.
Finally, the familiar tune to “Flashlight” pumped over the speakers, and Clinton hopped onto stage. He and the gang rocketed into the song, and the show began. During a stretched out jam, Clinton’s granddaughter came out on stage, as they proceeded to spark and share a joint. The entire venue cheered as the members passed it around the band on stage. After a while, Clinton stepped back and lounged on stage, as various members of the collective took the limelight.
Each member was extraordinarily talented, whether it was a guitarist melting the fretboard, or a female singer with a goddesses voice. Every participant contributed to the intricately woven quilt that is Parliament Funkadelic, even the guy in the fuzzy Stetson wearing what looked like a dildo on his nose. During “Knee-Deep”, the building entered a groove like trance, where most everyone stayed, and grooved for the remainder of the set.
For rock n’ roll classics like George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, there was nothing more that could’ve been desired by the crowd. Even though they only played a handful of songs, they jammed them for long periods. They packed the house, and definitely tore the roof off the mutha-sucka harder than any other 73 year old alive. Hell, they rocked the Vogue harder than most recent acts could. It was an evening of pure, funky vibes, and for that Indianapolis thanks the granddaddies of funk, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic.