Bootsy Collins in Boulder 6.6.11
Words & Photos By J-man
Bass legend Bootsy Collins was recently joined by Parliament band mate Bernie Worrell for a night of funk in Boulder, CO. The Boulder Theater was packed and buzzing, especially for a Monday night! Folks of all ages and colors turned out to climb aboard the Mothership, and Bootsy and the gang did not disappoint.
We arrived at the Boulder Theater in time for a short conversation with Bernie Worrell...
Prior to the show, I contacted Motet / Juno What keyboardist Joey Porter and told him I would leave a ticket for him at will call. We met Joey out front and headed in the show.
After seeing Parliament several times without Bootsy or Bernie, I was skeptical before this particular show. During the shows I've caught, Parliament would perform with approximately ten to twenty people on stage at any given time. It made for a disastrous sound with too much squealing feedback for the ears to handle. It always seemed as if members were fighting for position to be at the front of the stage. The vibes were weird, and the music was typically terrible. With that being said, I wasn't sure what to expect going into that evening in Boulder. I did however know that funkateer Bootsy Collins and The Wizard of Woo, Bernie Worrell, would be in attendance, so it couldn't be nearly as bad as the Parliament shows that I had seen.
The stage was packed with mics, gear and amps, and the sound check forced the show to start almost an hour late. Things didn't looking promising. Bootsy's band finally took the stage to an excited Boulder crowd.
The show began with the normal antics, involving a lot of call-and-response type hype and filler. Bootsy then hit the stage in the flashiest get-up that I have ever seen... and a matching top hat to boot!
The music sounded great! All of the folks onstage had space and worked together to create a well-balanced sound. In that regard, it was very different from the Parliament shows that I had seen.
Bootsy led the band through some funky jams that had the whole crowd dancing. After a few songs, Bootsy exited the stage for an extended period of time for what turned out to be a costume change. During his absence from the stage Bernie played one of his classics, "Flashlight," which turned out to be the highlight of the show for me. Another highlight of the show was a massive guitar solo from Blackbird McKnight former guitarist of Parliament Funkadelic.
One of my only issues with the show was brought up continuously by several folks in the audience... the sound was way too loud. Even in the back of the venue, the music was earsplitting.
As Carly and I headed for the exit, we passed Joey speaking with Michael Travis (String Cheese / EOTO). We said farewell and headed out. The music was fantastic, the crowd was energetic but it was painfully loud to the point that we had to take off early.
Photo Gallery From The Show