For nearly two hours on Saturday night, George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic tickled every single funk bone in iFest's sun-drenched body. For a festival so family-friendly and altogether worldly, Clinton and his gang made the lawn in Sam Houston Park feel sleazy in the most admirable way.
No one will take up Clinton's baton when the Mothership comes back around to pick him up one last time. There is no one alive on this earth that can and could pull off what he does even in his late, late 60s. It's still a wonder to Aftermath why he can't command a sellout at any venue in any town, seeing that this is a living, cognizant legend that can still tour and has a full-force backing band.
Watching YouTube clips from Parliament-Funkadelic's Houston history, especially the 1979 clips proved that the band has had a storied love affair with our city. A handful of clips from a set from at what looks to be the Summit
emanate sweat and funk through your monitor.
The lawn at Sam Houston Park was full by 7 p.m. People of every stripe and age crowded in closer for the P-Funk's landing an hour later, and from note one, the entire congregation was one dancing mass. The new P-Funk is easily ten people strong onstage during a even a slower song. During cuts like "Flashlight" and "Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker)," that number would climb to in excess of 20 considering random dancers, extra singers, and the random folks walking up to a mike onstage to sing one line.
At certain points there was almost too much going on. If you were standing directly in front about ten yards back facing the stage, your entire field of vision would be filled with glorious WTF: A lithe, half-naked male dancer in furry leggings, five or so female backup singers of varying size and race, Clinton pumping his fist at different intervals and the stray jamming saxophone solo would come barreling in.