George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic The Phoenix, Toronto, ON July 19

George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic The Phoenix, Toronto, ON July 19
There wasn't exactly enough space to land the mothership on the Phoenix's stage, but the funktacular vernacular of George Clinton's intergalactic collective of booty-loosening groove troopers proved to be more joyously awe-inspiring and gleefully alien than any stage prop novelty could be.

Eschewing the tease tactics of Clinton's traditional delayed entrance, the rainbow-dreaded funk-father shimmied and jived his way on stage within minutes of his all-star fleet of funkateers donning their instruments. Despite pushing 60, Clinton had the energy of a man a third his age, relentlessly belting vocals and dancing his balls off, all the while conducting a rotating cast of 28 musicians comprising his psychedelic army.

Dishing greatest hits from the get-go and quickly dropping the phat bass squelch of mega crowd-pleaser "Flashlight," the band set the tone for an epic display of searing musicianship, cathartic vibes of inhibition and unparalleled showmanship. About half the crew were still decked out in their trademark wacky outfits, with Gary Shider rocking a cloth diaper with as much charming impish attitude as ever, Gene "Poo Poo Man" Anderson looking like a new-age sheik through the eyes of an acid trip, and Mary Louis-Parker lookalike Kim Manning stunning the crowd with her stratospheric vocal range and sultry roller skate dance moves.

Also, something must be said of the group's Sir Nose Jr., who robotically grooved his way through the set in white fur pants and hat, pulling hotties from the audience on stage for a little bump'n'grind and eventually leading a ho-train on stage for a psychedelic circus dance party finale.

It's doubtful there's any other group alive who can completely control an audience through sheer bliss for three hours straight. The force of George Clinton's funky love is infinitely more powerful than even the mothership ever could be.