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The House of Blues Fakes the Funk [5/12/2009 02:50:00 PM]:
In case you hadn't noticed, venerable funk superstars Parliament swung through town back on April 30th, playing to what was reportedly a good-sized crowd over at the House of Blues. A friend of SCR (who shall remain anonymous to save 'em from any reprisals & whatnot) went and said the show itself was great, but that the way the HoB handled things, unfortunately, wasn't. Here's their report:

So anyway, it was a great show. They go on at exactly 10pm and everyone from back in the day is playing. Up to twenty people on stage at a time, depending on the song. Scarface shows up, Peter Brown (mayoral candidate) is on stage with [frontman George] Clinton for a bit and dances (that was surreal), and crowd is very diverse.

Next up, midnight rolls around. They're still playing and in a middle of a song. HoB turns on the house lights and they continue to play. HoB cuts the mics and they continue to play, although at this point all you can hear is the drums and Clinton yelling at people to keep singing. Well, the crowd isn't leaving and thirty minutes earlier Clinton said the show was at the halfway point (and my friends that have seen them said they typically play upwards of four hours), so HoB decides to close the curtain on them and the crowd finally gets the point and starts grumbling. A few are chanting varying forms of "fuck house of blues", but it doesn't really catch on. I got in for free, so wasn't as upset as I would have been if I had paid $30, but am still rather pissed that they would do that.

I know HoB has major power over touring bands, due to their network of venues and dealings with Livenation/Ticketmaster, so not sure if it's even feasible to try and push bands back to spots like Warehouse, but I'd love to not have a venue that's willing to shut down a legendary group like P-Funk. Now the New York Dolls are playing there, so I'm conflicted. And I might have gone to Crystal Method, but not if it's going to be shut down at midnight.

Damn. I mean, I can understand needing to get folks out so you can clean the place up and everything, but A) this is Houston, that magical place where bars all over the city can remain open 'til 2AM, and B) this is P-Funk we're talking about, here. Had the HoB folks never heard about a P-Funk show when the booked the band? From every report I've ever heard, the band puts on long, long, long shows -- their Baltimore show earlier this tour supposedly ran for three-and-a-half hours.

Given that, kicking the band off the stage and cutting the power seems, to me, pretty damn dumb on the part of the HoB. Is this company policy or something, to shut it all down at midnight, no exceptions? I have yet to check out the new-ish Houston branch of the chain, so I can't say what the place is like, but to hear about the venue treating a bona-fide legend like Clinton & his crew like this makes me want to skip it entirely. Way to alienate fans, y'all. Better watch out, or just like Sir Nose, your nose'll grow...

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