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Bootsy Collins, Detroit MI, June 24, 2012

I had been lookiing forward to this show for some time, and it lived up to expectations. The venue, open air, right on the Detroit River in downtown Detroit, is great. The boats pull up behind the stage, drop anchor, and listen to the show.

The warm-up act was Cameo. They were good, but I can't say I'm a longstanding Cameo fan. I went to see Bootsy.

He came out in a red sequined long coat with matching top-hat, playing the signature star-shaped bass guitar. There is something about Bootsy that is infectious, you just can't help but love him; he's not witty, he's goofy ... and funky.

I was happy that he had at least a minimal horn section. A dude in an Indian headdress playing trumpet and a dude in sweat pants with a Pittsburgh Pirates cap on alto sax. Two keyboard players, neither of whom was Bernie Worell, but one of whom was the original keyboard player for the Rubber Band. Drums, guitar, a second bass player, three singers and Bootsy. The majority of the band, like Bootsy, was from Cincinnati.

They broke into a Sly and the Family Stone medley as Bootsy exited the stage to change. He came back out with a huge white afro wig, a shiny blue coat, white high-heel boots.

They continued with a P-Funk medley, focusing on "Flashlight." Bootsy tore off the wig to reveal an American flag bandanna. They did a long version of "I'd Rather Be with You," on which Bootsy played a solo, the bass processed to sound like a thousand electric guitars. The tune included an "everything good is nasty" sing along. I also remember the line "I've got the munchies for your love."

He exited the stage again for another wardrobe change, and came out with a shiny silver sort of frock with a black Casper on the front and an outlandish hat. They played "Funk Gettin' Ready to Roll" and "One Nation Under a Groove."

He tore of the frock to reveal a Red Wings jersey, (Lidstrom 5). He ended the concert by going out into the audience and touching foreheads with the faithful funkateers. Alas, I didn't get to touch heads with the star child. No encore, I think due to the fact that there must be a noise ordinance.

The audience was mostly middle aged and African American and well-behaved. I enjoyed the music, the fashion, the smells (hair products, food, tobacco, weed, perfume).

My only complaint is the volume, which didn't seem to bother people. It was so loud that you could physically feel the bass drum in your heart. When the volume is so high you lose definition and it sounds muddy. But, all-in-all, despite the outrageous volume, it was a funk-alicious show!


Boots was made for Rockin!

Sounds like a most dynamic experience. I'm glad it lived up to your expectations. Play that funky music. Right, boy?

October 2019



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