It wouldn’t be difficult to make a reasonable case for George Clinton, the leader and original founder of the Parliament Funkadelic music collective, as one of the most important figures in 20th-century music and quite possibly the greatest still-living composer of his generation. From the modern vogue in costumed Afrofuturistic R&B to arenas packed with wildly rambling guitar-based jam bands, Clinton and P-Funk’s influence can be found written all over the modern landscape, while his hooks and beats laid the foundation for contemporary hip hop.
Following the surprise release of 2018’s excellent Parliament LP Medicaid Fraud Dogg, the inimitable Clinton is celebrating his upcoming 78th birthday with one final blowout tour prior to retirement and a much-deserved Lifetime Achievement Grammy. What figures to be his last NYC concert will be the first paid show of the 2019 SummerStage season, on June 4. (A less funky but certainly noteworthy free opening night this Saturday, June 1, features R&B singer-songwriters Emily King and Madison McFerrin.)
Clinton has always been a maximalist and, accordingly, this farewell affair in Central Park will see him supported by Galactic and Dumpstaphunk—two of the biggest names on the jam band circuit—plus the ageless ska-punk group Fishbone. Right after the concert, you can catch Dumpstaphunk and Fishbone headlining at the afterparty at Sony Hall; don’t be shocked if Clinton decides to stop by.
If you’ve never seen Clinton play with P-Funk live, this is your last chance to get on board the Mothership. If you don’t want to be D’Voidoofunk, get your tickets sooner rather than later or run the risk of faking the funk one time too many.
One Nation Under a Groove Farewell Tour: George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic
Central Park (enter at East 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue)
Tuesday, June 4
$85; $125 for VIP