“Ain’t no party like a P-Funk party, cause a P-Funk party don’t stop.” You can certainly say that again, as the legendary and iconic George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic tore the roof off the stage with a very historic performance to close out the final day of the Taste of Chicago on Sunday night in the cities famed, Grant Park, with one of the best performances you will ever see in your lifetime and was a must-see event that if you weren’t there you really missed out.
As it was also the historic final Chicago performance ever from Clinton, which had the sold-out crowd moving and grooving from the very opening of the set with Clinton and Funkadelic’s classic hit One Nation Under a Groove to other funk classics, such as, (Not Just) Knee Deep, Flash Light and of course you can’t have a George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic performance without one of their not only biggest hits ever, but possibly one of the biggest hits ever and easily one of the best songs of all-time, Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker).
You know you can’t have a George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic performance too without a cover of Clinton’s own timeless and forever classic hit, which is easily one of the best songs of all-time too, Atomic Dog. From the guitarists to the drummer, trumpeters and every other instrument in between, you know you can’t get down and groovy with the funk without a great backing band too like Clinton and Funkadelic had that had everybody grooving and moving from the beginning of the set to the very end.
That’s how you know you have a great and historic performance that’s like no other, is when you have the whole crowd standing even when you do the rare slower tempo songs you have like, Psychotropic, which Clinton and Parliament also performed from their recently not to long ago released first new album in nearly 40 years with, Medicaid Fraud Dogg. Even performing their very amazingly dope lead single from the album, I’m Gon Make You Sick O’Me, which features another living legend, Scarface. Of course the performance was without Face though. Even having homegrown Chicago emcee, 13, on Backwoods, which they performed as well.
Just when you thought it was over too, George and them came back out for an enforce, playing yet another classic, Mothership Connection (Star Child). Cause as the saying goes, “Ain’t nothing like a P-Funk party, cause a P-Funk party don’t stop.” Which it seems like it didn’t, as the crowd was having the time of their lives moving and grooving for another 15 to 30 minutes or so before the set finally ended in a performance you had to really be at and really missed out in, if you weren’t there. A performance for the ages that will be remembered for years to come.
Not to be lost in the historic and memorable performance from Clinton and Parliament too is that homegrown Chicago acts, The Boy Illinois and BJ the Chicago Kid put on their own very killer performances as well. Thus setting the tone very well for Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic.
Homegrown Southside Chicago native and Grammy nominated singer/songwriter, BJ the Chicago Kid, opened before Clinton. Showing off his very soulful vocals, as he performed such records as the Intro record to his critically-acclaimed major label debut album with, In My Mind to his very soulfully smooth lead single, Church and Love Inside to open his set.
Bringing his very soulful and powerful voice to those records, BJ with his heavenly vocals shows off the range that literally had him grow up in the church choir growing up to get his start and real love in the music. As both his parents were church choir directors in Chicago too growing up. BJ talked about how growing up in Chicago and going to the Taste so many years in his childhood, it was a dream to be on that stage. Asking the crowd how many of them had been rocking with him since his official debut album, Pineapple Now-Laters, which he released independently around 2012, BJ would go to a few classics some may have known such as Roses and the very soulfully smooth, Good Luv’n, as well as Sex X Money X Sneakers.
At one point BJ would get the DJ involved by doing a small DJ set playing such classics as Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Jump and several others he thought were party starter songs, you hear at a party. Even incorporating a kid he brought on stage to dance and show off his moves. With his great backing band, the homegrown Chicago singer showed why he’s easily one of the best singers in the game right now and a future legend with how easily he controlled the crowd with his very soulfully smooth vocals that knows how to be both soulful, yet still rough or bedroom friendly as Jagged Edge or as church-like as Mary Mary at times on records like Shine, Turnin’ Me Up and Man Down.
Where BJ really showed how great of a vocalist he’s that can bring as soulfully great performances as a James Brown, Stevie Wonder or even fellow Chicago native, Dave Hollister that will help him be a legend in his own right in the future as those legends is when he performed his very amazingly soulful acoustic set. Which had him really showing off his very soulfully amazing vocals on such very strings, piano-laden and drums-driven powerfully moving records as, Woman’s World, Heart Crush and Jeremiah. All records that really show how powerful and emotional music could be and move you to tears or almost move you to tears.
Some of my more personal favorites ever from BJ, the emotion and passion, as well as soul he puts in those records really shows what a truly great history of soulfully rich music history we have here in Chicago and continue to have. We will definitely be hearing plenty more from BJ the Chicago Kid for years to come and I have no-doubt he will be a future legend that others will go back to study in much the same way he has such legends as Wonder and Brown.
Another fellow Chicago native, The Boy Illinois showed just how much diverse talent the city has and continues to have with its very rich music history. Helping really set the tone for the final day of the Taste with the killer performance he had with his backing band to open for both Clinton and BJ. Performing such classics as Sell Again and Dancing Like Diddy to open his set. He even talked about how the latter track was how he taught his nephews the old dances he knew and learned growing up.
The homegrown Chicago emcee would later ask the crowd, if any of them had heard of him before or his most recent project, Windy. To which some in the crowd said they knew, while some others didn’t. While he let the crowd know he would go into some of that material, which he did with King Me, Run Around and before closing out with 100. A track he said was the first track of his in a while his Mom had messed with, after not partylike A of his music for so long.
With his really amazingly dope performance, Illi, showed how much hard work and persistence pays off. As he went from performing the smaller Bud Light Stage last year at the Taste, to performing on the main stage at the Petrillo Music Shell stage and opening for both Clinton and BJ. Also showing how much his stage presence has grown since than, he along with BJ showed Clinton how well in good hands the music scene is now not only in Chicago, but period and why it’s OK now for George to finally retire from touring after so many years. Despite what many others say, both homegrown Chicago natives proved why there is still so many not only great soulful, but just talented acts period, who can hopefully inspire and move others in much the way like acts like Clinton and Parliament, as well as James Brown, Bootsy Collins and so many others did. You just have to at times search and look for it more. But these rising stars really bringing such a great vibe and inspiration to so many others through music, shows it’s definitely still there and if they continue to make it, like their predecessors, it has the potential to stick in history for years to come and eventually be remembered as legends later down the line themselves.