Spliffy

Even the P-Funk All-Stars were going to have a tough time following that spectacle. Of course, godfather of the old school George Clinton took it all in stride, calling for "Flashlight," a well-worn (but never tired) favorite, as the kickoff track, then coaxing a collective "da-da-da-dee-da-da-da" from the dancing throng. Evident from the way he "conducted" the All-Stars with a wink and a nod of his rainbow-colored tresses, giving up most of the vocals to a gang of hungry rappers half his age, George Cothran's leadership may be more of an emeritus position at this point. Granted, he probably did direct popular characters like Sir Noze and the ever-diapered Gary Shider to slink along the bustling stage front, inducing first-row honeys to rapture. And he also urged the crowd to bay at the moon like a pack of feral hounds. But mostly, the funk's original MC just bobbed and weaved to the sounds around him. So much rhythm and melody wrapped up in what amounts to little more than one long song, reputedly known as the unstoppable P-Funk party. But the big fun at Shoreline shut down without notice, without an encore, and far shy of all-night-long expectations.

Stunned but not unhappy, we kicked back in a reverie (in no rush to join the exiting masses) and watched the elated, sweaty bodies herd toward the parking lot. Almost immediately, the venue's cleanup crew began a sweep of the hill. They stuffed an enormous amount of debris into oversize trash bags (discreetly pocketing roaches and other assorted valuables), no doubt dreading the task of stirring the few scattered crash victims, who dozed on cushions of California chronic, dreaming of funk, skunk, and the endless summer swim that ended without them.

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