George Clinton says farewell to the Mothership, Wu Tang Returns to 36 Chambers + SugarHill Gang Celebrates 40 Years & more (Oct/2019)

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George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic (Farewell Tour) - August 24th - The Bomb Factory - Dallas, TX

George Clinton did not seem at all like a man on the verge of retiring from the road as he gave up the funk with the latest edition of Parliament-Funkadelic on what is being advertised on Clinton's final tour. The music & even the band will live on without him he assures & if this show is any indication, I can't imagine it ever stopping.

Clitnon sat down on occasion. He's 78 & shit, they didn't even go on till well after midnight, hell I was ready to sit down. That is until the party started & when a P-Funk Party starts it doesn't stop until you do.

Pic here

 

The show itself has great meaning for us - This was my wife & I's first date in this very building 2 & half years ago. So much has transpired in the short amount of time & we were ready to celebrate.
urrounded by longtime members of the P-Funk All-Stars and new blood, including a few of his grandkids, on a stage that was crowded at times with more than 15 singers and musicians including DeWayne "Blackbyrd" McKnight a longtime fixture of the P-Funk universe tearing it up on the epic guitar lead that was Maggot Brain & more.

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The funk legend playfully flirted with women in the audience, many of whom were brought on that already-crowded stage as P-Funk took the party atmosphere to the next level, following Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker) & Night of the Thumpasorus Peoples & more

This tour feels like a victory lap for a man who truly revolutionized the culture. Funkadelic isn't just a band name; it's a blueprint for blurring the lines between genres and bringing the people together as one.

Setlist:

Dog Star (Fly On) 

Funkadelic Set 

 

Get Off Your Ass and Jam
Pole Power 
Meow Meow 
Get Low 
Super Stupid
One Nation Under a Groove 
(Not Just) Knee Deep 

Parliament Set 

Flash Light
Aqua Boogie (A Psychoalphadiscobetabioaquadoloop) 
P. Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up) 
Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker)
Night of the Thumpasorus Peoples 
Mothership Connection (Star Child)
Up for the Down Stroke 

Encore: 

Atomic Dog 
Ain't No Party Like a P-Funk Party

 

The man was clearly having too much fun to say goodbye & if this is the end for Brother George, he deserves his rest & our

eternal respect & gratitude.

 

The SugarHill Gang Celebrates 40 Years of Hip-Hop w/ The Furious Five & More - August 30th - Gas Monkey Live - Dallas, TX

It was Sugarhill Gang’s time to wow us next, and the shame of my lack of trust in their abilities to wow us poured over me within the first ten seconds of their set. But can I really be blamed when so many artists fail to cut the mustard some 40 years on into their career? From the get-go the SHG members Master Gee and Hen Dogg were in a clearly-rehearsed yet naturally slick routine, diving across the stage, weaving in and out of syncronised steps and rapping coherently in their thick New Jersey accents, spreading messages of love and infectious music. 

This was high intensity at its best, bringing no cheesy clichés, just pure slick values. Even Hen Dogg pulled off his top hat, shades, tracksuit and cane get-up. Their coolness was paired beautifully with their reflective jokes on their age and the journey they’ve been on to get to the now. And of course it’s always flattering to hear that Bristol has always been in their hip-hop landmark list. 

Melle Mel and Scorpio, the last two remaining members of The Furious Five, gave me everything I needed from their set too: more sweat-breeding, bounce-worthy goodness, covering all their greatest tunes, and let’s face it both groups have plenty to choose from. Melle Mel didn’t miss the chance to spread a positive message either, commenting on the quality and meaningfulness of their lyrics: “We ain’t here to talk about drugs and how many people we’ve shot.” Nor did he neglect his opportunity to show off his muscular physique, which for me was the only awkward and unnecessary thing about the entire evening. 

Joined once again by The Sugarhill Gang, both legendary acts continued to create singalong moments in their seamless routine, until ending the set with Dynasty in the audience, dancing, singing and sweating in union. Pulling on our hip-hop heartstrings, The Sugarhill Gang and The Furious Five clubbed together in true hip-hop style, to prove that 40 years later, their music is just as vital and worthy as it was back then, stamping out any doubts that legendary performers could live on in such an honest, sparkling, smooth form.

 

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Oct 4th (Fri)   
WU Tang Clan @ The Bomb Factory

It is no broad boast to call “Enter the Wu (36 Chambers)” — the first album from the Staten Island hip-hop collective Wu-Tang Clan — one of the most powerful and influential debuts of the last century. 

From its incendiary 1993 start, Wu-Tang Clan had an auteur’s cinematic touch (credit producer and film fan RZA) and an aggressive rawness that, when mixed with the rap ensemble’s superhero-inspired takes on martial-arts movies and the art of war, was unique. 

Add to that a street vibe that miles away from the rap that was popular at the time  — which ranged from the jazzy optimism of De La Soul and Digable Planets to Dr. Dre and Snoop’s smooth West Coast G-funk — and Wu-Tang Clan was, as they often say, nothing to f— with. 

And it was that hard-edged debut that Wu-Tang Clan celebrated on Thursday night at Philadelphia’s Franklin Music Hall on the first date of their brief 25 th anniversary tour celebrating the album’s release.

Here, original Wu members RZA, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, Master Killa, GZA and U-God, with auxiliary members Cappadonna, DJ Mathematics and the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s — named, naturally enough, Young Dirty Bastard — performed a happily sloppy but no less incisive version of their debut album, along with multiple other group and solo tracks. 

“When Wu-Tang Clan came out, Philly was the best market that we had outside of New York,” announced Method Man several songs into the set. “No additives, no preservatives. Just pure hip-hop.” 

Indeed, Philly looms large in the group’s history and mystery. Not only did Inspectah Deck offer up a Philadelphia boxing legend for band’s first single, 1992’s “Protect Ya Neck,” with the lines, “I smoke on the mic like Smokin’ Joe Frazier / The hell raiser, raisin’ hell with the flavor,” in a less happy note, Ol’ Dirty Bastard was arrested at a South Philly McDonald’s in 2000 after escaping from a court-mandated drug treatment facility. Not only was he represented onstage with the signage “RIP ODB,” Young DB ably took on his tracks that featured his dad, such as “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” and “Got Your Money.” YDB’s growling raps and lurching stage moves proved that the Wu fruit had not fallen far from the tree. 

The group members staggered their stage entrances, starting with a throbbing, menacing “Bring da Ruckus.” By their third track, however — “Clan In Da Front” bumped up against “Wu-Tang 7th Chamber” — the ensemble was in full flower and full flow. With its layered raps, cackles, barks and shouts of “Wu!,” their a chorus of chaos nestled against slamming stammering beats. To go with its punkish verbal energy, the Wu’s staging was a fast mess of constant motion, with each man bouncing before or behind the other. 

“The two most important things that you have to bring to a Wu-Tang show is weed and energy,” announced Method Man, the evening’s de facto emcee and the band’s most outgoing member. 

Method and Raekwon were the most vocally commanding members of the group at this show, with RZA and Ghostface the most subdued. But still, audiences members could easily single out the nuances of each man’s voice during their turns or verses at the mic. Cappadonna’s hyper-quick verse during Ghostface’s “Winter Warz” and the flighty fight songs between Masta Killa and Ghost — such as “Duel of the Iron Mic” and “4th Chamber” — allowed each actor a dramatic, angry soliloquy. 

Still, a united Wu-Tang Clan is always better than its separate parts — in fact, what truly came through during this set is that Wu-Tang is as much a family as it is a group. 

“How often do you get the full Wu-Tang together?” asked Method Man. 

Not enough.

Setlist:

Stuff

 

Photos -

Roy Turner
 

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