WASHINGTON -- The National Mall was visited by one of the funkiest performers from the American canon Wednesday night. George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic headlined the first concert of the 2012 Folklife Festival. Along with Meshell Ndegeocello, Ivan Neville and Dumpstaphun, the Bring Back The Funk show may have been the most out-of-sight showcase in the festival's 45-year history.

The once-dreadlocked frontman has shed his locks for a more "professional look." Gone are the streamers, feathers, bandanas and coats of many colors. Clinton came to the Mall ready to campaign. Decked out in a double-breasted tan suit, the Parliament member appeared surprisingly younger than before. Photos from the event showcase the delighted crowd.

The 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival continues until July 1 and picks back up for July 4 to July 8. In addition to the three tiers of programming, nightly concerts, still free and family friendly, are offered at 6 p.m.

Take a look...

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  • George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic

  • Meshell Ndegeocello

  • Meshell Ndegeocello

  • Ivan Neville and Dumpstaphun

  • Ivan Neville and Dumpstaphun

  • George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic

  • George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic

  • George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic

  • George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic

  • George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic

  • George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic

  • George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic

  • George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic

  • George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic

  • George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic

  • George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic

  • George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic

  • George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic

  • George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic

  • George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic

  • George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic

  • George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic

  • George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic

  • George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic

  • George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic

  • George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic

  • George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic

  • George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic

  • George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic

  • George Clinton and Tom Joyner