LIVE: George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic @ Alive at Five, 6/27/13

July 11th, 2013, 4:00 pm by Greg
(photo by Rudy Lu)

(photo by Rudy Lu)

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Rudy Lu, Richard Brody, Timothy Reidy

“We want the funk/Give up the funk…”

Maybe you were there back in 2009 when George Clinton and his Parliament-Funkadelic collective served up a nearly five-hour extravaganza at Northern Lights that ended only when the soundman shut down the PA system and walked away at 4am.

“We need the funk/Gotta have the funk…”

Maybe you were there back in 1996 at Skidmore College, when Clinton wore a Mickey Mouse bedsheet as though it were a tent-like, tribal dashiki, while an oversized top hat with a florescent painting of an extraterrestrial on the front only partially covered the Day-Glo, rainbow-colored dreadlocks that hung down to his shoulders.

“We want the funk/Give up the funk…”

Or maybe you were there way back in the day when Clinton landed the actual Mothership on the stage of the Palace Theatre.

“We need the funk/Gotta have the funk…”

Well, if you caught any of those shows, you should consider yourself lucky. I know I certainly do.

And if you came for George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic’s legendary costumes, theatrics, stage sets and play-all-night-stamina of those psychedelic-funk days gone by, you may have walked away disappointed by the band’s no-frills Alive at Five concert in Albany’s Riverfront Park.

“Swing down, sweet chariot/Stop and let me ride…”

But if you came to Alive at Five for the music – and not the circus – well then, you got the funk. Because even at the age of 70-something, Clinton and his ever-evolving funk collective know how to bring it.

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