Last Night: Bootsy Collins At Warehouse Live
Photos by Groovehouse
Bootsy Collins & Funk U-Nity Warehouse Live June 16, 2011
See more fabulous funksmanship in our slideshow.
Funk is good for the soul. There's no denying it. After 12 hours at the office Thursday, Aftermath entered Warehouse Live clenched tight as an oyster. A whopping two and a half hours later, we left loose as a goose. Although geese have always seemed pretty high-strung to us... never mind.
In between, Brother From Another Planet Bootsy Collins and his plus-sized Funk U-Nity band got up on the downstroke and funked away like there was no tomorrow. (There almost wasn't.) Bootsy would leave the stage for long stretches of time while his band did their thang, and return in an even more outlandish costume than the last time, our favorite being an elliptical hat of white ostrich feathers that made the bassist look like the world's funkiest lampshade.
It took Aftermath about half an hour to get out of our uptight (outtasite) head and completely into the groove - to start, in the words of one wise dude we overheard outside, "cheesin'." When you're cheesin', the funk knows no rhyme or reason, so here are our notes from the show exactly as we wrote them down - plus a few texts we sent - beginning shortly before Bootsy yielded the stage to guitarist Blackbird McKnight for a Jimi Hendrix tribute that singed the hair on our chinny chin chin. If you want the short version, this was a MOTHER of a show.
Peppermint Patty and Bootsy
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Bootsy: "We're going to funk you until your funk drops off... we're gonna take our time."
...someone is smoking some real purple haze nearby...
(Interlude featuring keyboardist Bernie Worrell)
...screaming for vengeance...
Text: "This is helping. It's a stone groove."
Overheard: "I've never seen so many people cheesin' at the same time... just smilin'."
(Sly & the Family Stone's "I Wanna Take You Higher")
...they do not quit... boom shakalakalaka...
Text: This shit ain't right, man.
...also, where the hell is Bootsy? His minions are stealing the show...
...Devin the Dude is grinning from ear to ear...
...no wonder Houston loves cover bands so much...
...sick, cell-phone routine [the crowd was encouraged to wave them from side to side - you know, like a flashlight], still no Bootsy...
...well, here he is, just in time for "Bootzilla"...
...thigh-high platform boots and matching ostrich-feather hat...
...OK, maybe he is the main attraction... this is just wrong... they're crankin'...
Bootsy: "Yall ready to party?"
Aftermath: "What have we been doing?"
Text: Dude, if you're not at Bootsy I'm going to have to disown you.
("Yummy, I Got the Munchies")
...Don Walsh & Ralf [Armin] from Rusted Shut are here - Don saw Bootsy with P-Funk at the Summit in the '70s , jacked on pills and pot: "We didn't belong there..."
("I'd Rather Be With You")
...slower stickier & sexier...
Bootsy: "Tonight we come together in the name of the funk."
Overheard: "Come on, Bootsy!"
Bootsy: "Back in the day, we called it finger-funkin' - as long as you bring on the big dog when it's all over."
Text: Dude I got an extra ticket. You gotta see this.
Bootsy: "I want the real deal, not the deal-do... everything good is nasty, but it ain't no good unless you play with it."
...I don't think they're saying 'funk you all night' here...
...done...11 sharp... that had to last at least half an hour...
("Don't Take My Funk")
...dedicated to/co-written with [late brother] Catfish...from the new album...
...so old-school it's only got one room - the bedroom...
...and yet strangely he's gone again...
("One Nation Under a Groove")
...Bootsy's just off to the side [of the stage], jammin'...
...weird undersea shit...
...silence (from the stage)...he's hearing the music in his head...
..."Hallelujah!" HARD...tight as a screw...
Bootsy: "Y'all knew we ain't been here in a long, long, longlonglonglong... I wanna come down in the audience & I wanna touch everybody!"
...reminds me of Andre 3000 here...
Bootsy: "The funk loves you, but tonight, funk you."
...[that was] his message to security, who told him he couldn't come into the crowd...
...James Brown vibe, thick as a brick...
...God knows how many people he's got up there with him - keys, horns, singers (ain't no stoppin' us now), rhythm, dudes just hanging out... I count 13... I guess 13...
...it's like a ballet...every part is synchronized to every other part...
...Bootsy: Last spotted at the bar...oh, there he is, getting back up...smell those Swishers...
Bootsy: "Houston, we did that!"
Aftermath: Yes, we sure as hell did.
Blackbyrd McKnight and T.M. Stevens
Personal Bias: We want the funk.
The Crowd: White hipsters in star-shaped sunglasses and black folk around Bootsy's age who still know how to get their groove on.
Overheard In the Crowd: "I don't want to go to jail"
Random Notebook Dump: You're kidding, right?
Razor Sharp Johnson
YOU (SHOULD) HAVE BEEN WATCHING With Bootsy's introductions:
Drums: Frankie Kash ("homegrown backbone") Keyboards: Bernie Worrell ("the baddest man alive on the planet") Keyboards: Joel "Razor Sharp" Johnson ("playing all that Pinocchio theory") Guitar: Blackbird McKnight ("we brought him on the funk ship") Horns: Gary Winters ("standing in for Fred Wesley") Horns: Sarah Morrow ("trombone") Horns: Randy the Rock ("saxophone") Bass: Colonel Hardgroove ("go on and give 'em some funk") Vocals: Peppermint Patty ("I guess I'll have to go take care of that later on") Vocals: Candy Yams ("our baby girl... she ain't funkable yet") Vocals: Raspberry White ("she might be funkable, but I think she just got married") Vocals: Kyle Jason ("my man") Bass: T.M. Stevens ("this is my boy") DJ: Tovarius ("he's funkable") Guitar: Keith Cheatham ("he used to play in Sun") Vocals: Ooh-Wee ("he's my oldest son... he proved himself funkable") Bass, Vocals, Stylin' Hats: Bootsy Collins
"God sent him to help us all"
Ahh... The Name Is Bootsy, Baby Spread Hope Like Dope Peace The Pinocchio Theory Hollywood Squares Bernie's Theme Cosmic Slop Super Stupid Star-Spangled Banner/Purple Haze (Jimi Hendrix tribute) Red Hot Mama I Wanna Take You Higher (Sly & the Family Stone tribute) Flash Light Bootzilla Roto Rooter Yummy, I Got the Munchies I'd Rather Be With You Don't Take My Funk One Nation Under a Groove Razor Interlude Stretchin' Out Touch Hits ("Swing Down Sweet Chariot," for one)
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