You could spend Fat Tuesday the way many people do: hop on a plane to New Orleans, get trashed on Bourbon Street and have an hours-long hangover. However, the music gods would probably want you to wait til March 5, when funk mastermind George Clinton hits the Fillmore Miami Beach at The Jackie Gleason Theater, the last stop on his Mardi Gras Madness Tour.
Since the founding of Parliament and Funkadelic in the late 1960s, the Godfather of Funk has not stopped making music or performing. In a December 2016 interview with Rolling Stone he expressed his desire to stay relevant, and that doesn’t seem to be an issue for him. He’s still active in the festival circuit, hitting Miami Beach one day after storming the Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival. His recent collaborations with artists such as producer Flying Lotus, whose Brainfeeder label will release Clinton’s upcoming album, and rapper Kendrick Lamar on 2015’s “To Pimp a Butterfly” have confirmed his ability to adapt to young music trends. In 2015 he released a live album from the Metropolis Records studio, which despite the quieter acoustics still sounded like a powerhouse recording. He even released a 33-track triple album, “First Ya Gotta Shake the Gate,” with Funkadelic in 2014.
Every time he hits a stage, Clinton gives off the vibe of an alien funk lord who has come to Earth to put us all under his dancing spell. He’ll be expected to pull out all the stops once his tour begins Feb. 16 in Pittsburgh. Famously known for his multi-colored wigs, he’ll most definitely be bringing along his Mothership structure along with a colorful cast of musicians. When they all get together, it’ll be more than some artists jamming out and having a ball. Performers of every genre from rap to rock will be busting out their talents for an unforgettable night.
Although Clinton has hit 75, it is clear that atomic dogs and flashlights are not all that he has to offer the world. As someone who famously quipped “Tear the roof off the sucka,” he’s not about to put down his guitar anytime soon. In that sense, age is just a number, baby.
George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic will perform 8pm Sunday, March 5 at the Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater. 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. $30.50. georgeclinton.com. ~ Olivia Feldman