No matter how many times George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic swing through Chicago, it’s always a sell out thanks to one of the most expansive and groundbreaking catalogues in the history of funk, R&B, psychedelic rock and hip-hop. However, this time through The Venue At Horseshoe Casino, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers had some help from fellow funky friends the Bar-Kays, Lakeside, Al Hudson & One Way and Con Funk Shun, all of whom ensured a marathon celebration that overflowed with blazing grooves.
Original Stax Records session band turned soulful stars of their own the Bar-Kays also dropped some serious sounds and steps during a massive, intermingled “Masters Of Funk” opening set that also featured Lakeside, Al Hudson & One Way and Con Funk Shun.
As is typically the case, Clinton and company closed out the Funk Fest festivities, turning in a sampler set from a career that spans more than six decades right up through the recent triple album of entirely new tunes “First Ya Gotta Shake the Gate.” Given the wealth of material, the hits and jams came fast and furious (“Rumpofsteelskin,” “One Nation Under A Groove,” “Flashlight,” “Up For The Down Stroke,” “Atomic Dog,” amongst others), all of which found Parliament Funkadelic and their longtime leader living up to their status as not only trailblazers of their primary genre, but also frequently sampled blueprints for the countless protégés who’ve descended from the “Mothership.”
Speaking of pioneers, original Stax Records session band turned soulful stars of their own the Bar-Kays also dropped some serious sounds and steps during a massive, intermingled “Masters Of Funk” opening set that also featured Lakeside, Al Hudson & One Way and Con Funk Shun. Though all are veterans of the scene, the former recently celebrated 50 years in music and slickly displayed some of its cross-generational staying power, including the 1960s staple “Soul Finger” and the ‘80s favorite “Freakshow On The Dance Floor” (from the “Breakin’” soundtrack).
Lakeside livened up the party with vibrant versions of “It’s All The Way Live” and “Fantastic Voyage” (previously re-worked by Coolio) augmented by pirate-inspired garb and some of the tightest choreography on the entire show. Hudson maintained his charismatic leadership as he carried One Way through the classic “Cutie Pie,” while Con Funk Shun soared with the smooth “Love’s Train” and concurrently celebrated the new release “More Than Love” to further ensure this installment of the Funk Fest was a living, breathing bridge from the past to the present.
Click here for more photos of George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic and here for more photos of the Bar-Kays, Lakeside, Al Hudson & One Way and Con Funk Shun from the Funk Fest at The Venue At Horseshoe Casino.
For additional information on George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, visit GeorgeClinton.com.
Upcoming concert highlights at The Venue At Horseshoe Casino include Boney James and Roy Ayers (June 24); Penn & Teller (July 8); Jill Scott (Aug. 5); Jeff Dunham (Aug. 6); Sam Lee (Aug. 28); George Benson (Sep. 3) and The Australian Pink Floyd Show (Sep. 9). For additional details, visit TheVenueChicago.com and Ticketmaster.com.