Saturday, June 18, 2011

6.17.2011, Dallas

Went to the Palladium to see Bootsy Collins with T. Horn. I'd never seen any of the P. Funk mob live before -- closest I ever came was when G. Clinton headlined at Jazz By the Boulevard two years ago, and got rained out -- unlike Mr. Horn, who'd seen George three times, and Mike Maxwell from Zanzibar Snails/SubKommander, whom we encountered in the bar and who said he'd seen the Funk Mob in 1980 for his very first concert, as well as numerous times since then. (That's right, kids, experimental musos dig the funk.)

We killed a couple of hours in the Jack Daniels Saloon, then made it over to the Palladium after the start of Bootsy's set, just as they were starting to play "Cosmic Slop," which made Terry smile. They played "Red Hot Mama" and "Mothership Connection" later on, too. The band included Blackbyrd McKnight on guitar, Bernie Worrell on keys, Bootsy's Cinci homeboy Frankie "Kash" Waddy kicking the traps, J.M. Stevens (ex-Pretenders and Miles Davis) on second bass, three horns, three backup singers, a second keyboardist, and Bootsy's wife Patti dancing. He introduced all of 'em at the end of the set, before the encore, in a manner that was more intimate and less mannered than any performer I've ever seen addressing a coupla thousand people.

They played "Purple Haze" for Jimi and "I Want To Take You Higher" for Sly, only a couple of songs from the new album ("Don't Take My Funk Away," during which Bootsy quietly tipped offstage for a costume change, of which he had a couple, and the revived "Munchies for Your Love"), and at one point near the end of the set, Bootsy parted the audience like the Red Sea and came down among us to grip 'n' grin. ("Security warned us about doing this," he said, reminding me of James Brown letting the kids onstage in Boston the night after MLK was shot.) While the Mothership didn't come down (it's in the Smithsonian now, yo), I thought I could see its shadow for a minute there.

ADDENDUM: A weird thing -- when we walked into the Palladium, nobody asked for a ticket. Hope Bootsy got paid.


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