Maceo Parker by Mario Tama
This show was one for the ages. This show was a perfect example of why we see live music. This show is already being hailed as a "Show of the Year" contender. You may find yourself asking, "Why?" Well first of all, you had Maceo Parker and that in itself is usually enough, but sitting in with the band was the legendary Fred Wesley on trombone. Fred and Maceo are two of the original JB Horns from James Brown's band, who coincidentally played a week earlier on the same stage sans the JB Horns. It was great to see them play together and to see Fred in a suit rather than his casual look was a surprise, but he did have his sneakers on to keep it real.

So from the get go the game was on, big time. It wasn't a sold out show, so there was plenty of room to dance, which would prove to be very important. The sound was amazing, and the scene was set for a serious party. There was clearly extra security, and the word of a guest star began to circulate. In time there most certainly would be special guest, but first the 61-year-old Maceo would have the stage and he owned it. With the energy of a man half his age, Maceo danced to the funky jams, he played saxophone on the funky jams, and most of all he interacted with the crowd on the funky jams.

Now it was time for the guest appearance, and who better to take the stage on a Friday night in Los Angeles than Prince and the New Revolution. They came on stage and the House of Blues blew wide up! This was one of the wildest scenes I'd ever witnessed at the HOB. Down on the floor there was a heavy set woman who came charging onto the floor and knocked down anything or anyone in her path just to get closer to Prince. I think she thought he was dinner. The women were going nuts for Prince. The New Revolution launched into BlackStreet's "No Diggiddy," complete with Prince on back up vocals. It was really quite amazing, and very much a scene. 1980s Moment of the Night: During "No Diggiddy" Prince's women were kissing his boots while he rested them on the amps. Some things never change. Sorry to say there were no Appollonia sightings, or Wendy either for that matter. I think it's time to rent "Purple Rain" again.

The rest of the show featured members of Maceo's band, including a nice version of "It Takes Two" with back up vocalist, Candy Dulfer, from the "the greatest little funk orchestra on earth." Maceo's son, Corey Parker, also got into the mix with his hip-hop vocal stylings. The music and the showmanship of Maceo Parker ranks up there with the best of them. As I said earlier this is why we see live music, because on any given night anything can happen. Maceo's website also notes that it was one of the greatest shows ever. They played for over three and half hours, prompting HOB security to shut the curtain on them. Have they no respect? It's a rare treat to have legends like this show up for the throw down!

Steve Itzkowitz
JamBase | Los Angeles
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[Published on: 1/30/04]

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