Funk ringleader George Clinton‘s final tour with Parliament-Funkadelic rolled into New York City on Tuesday for a performance at Central Park SummerStage. While the music was finished by 10 p.m., the funk was alive and well throughout the evening, with Galactic, Fishbone, Dumpstaphunk, and Miss Velvet and the Blue Wolf all offering brief but powerful supporting sets.
As Clinton told Rolling Stone ahead of the tour, “I would love to keep on doing this but I’ll be 78 in a few more months,” he says. “Even though I feel like I’m just getting started, the reality is the group needs to go ahead and keep it going. We’ve got a new vibe in the band, and they’ve been carrying it for the last three years. I’ve been up there representing for people, but they’ve actually been turning the place out. And we’ve been selling out for the last five years, every night.”
The name of the tour, “One Nation Under A Groove,” is an ode to the 1978 album and single of the same name. “Funk to me was just that groove that united everything,” Clinton told Rolling Stone. “So you could be funky no matter what kind of music you played. There’s a funk element somewhere that can be put into it. And the idea of one nation with everybody together [applies to] not only one nation, but one planet.”
Those varying approaches to the funk were on full display on Tuesday, from the old-school NOLA sound of Dumpstaphunk to the new-school, soulful vibes of Galactic to the politically-minded reggae-ska-punk-funk freakout that is Fishbone. By the time Clinton and the big, colorful Parliament-Funkadelic hit the stage as the sun set, the crowd was loose and ready to party—a fitting mood for a fantastic P-Funk performance.
From time-tested staples to “new P-Funk classics” to hip-hop interludes and beyond, each member of the P-Funk crew got their moment in the sun while the rest of the entourage drew eyes to every corner of the stage. All throughout, Clinton held down his hype man duties like only he can, pausing periodically to take a seat on the drum riser while the young blood took their respective turns in the spotlight. While this tour may be Dr. Funkenstein’s final hurrah, the amount of talent and creativity onstage in Central Park confirmed a comforting fact: the funk is still alive and thriving in 2019.
Below, you can check out photo galleries from Tuesday night’s party in Central Park via photographer Andrew O’Brien.
For a full list of upcoming dates on George Clinton’s One Nation Under A Groove Tour, head here.