reCAP :: Galactic :: 2014.02.14
The Capitol Theatre served up a beautiful three course meal of music on Valentine's Day. Funk pioneers Galactic were sandwiched between the incendiary and relentlessly energetic JJ Grey and Mofro, and the melodic jam musings from 14 year old guitar phenom, Bobby Paltauf, and his band. It was a euphoric event marked to celebrate a cohesion of love on the special day through an equally powerful four letter word: funk.
Inspired by the work of The Meters and formed in New Orleans in 1994, Galactic has been bringing the heat for two decades and remains in the conversation with Dumpstaphunk and Lettuce as the reigning funk kings in the land. The second to last show on the east coast tour, Jeff Raines (guitar), Stanton Moore (drums), Robert Mercurio (bass), Ben Ellman (saxophone), Richard Vogel (keys), Corey Henry (trombone) and Maggie Koerner (vocals) delivered patented funky grooves that served as an impetus for many to join the danceathon. With a unique blend of sound created through a fusing of influences including hip-hop, electronic, world music, rock, blues and jazz, Galactic shared a gyrating groove that is all their own.
Corey Glover, special guest vocalist since 2010, has returned to his full-time gig as lead singer of Living Colour, which afforded the opportunity for the new dynamic vocalist to take the mic.
Fresh-faced and powerful-piped, 26 year old Maggie Koerner took over the reins and demonstrated her prowess in exemplary fashion with the very first song, "Hey Na Na" that has been a band staple for some time. Other highlights included, "Dollar Diva" which was released in January as a stand-alone single and buoyed by Mercurio's thumping bass-line, Moore's well-known heavy-handed jazzy drumming and inspired by Koerner's bluesy vocals. Koerner pulled off an exquisite take on James Brown's "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" through her raw power and emotion. She participated on a majority of tunes, but retreated for a few instrumental ditties so that Galactic could share their well-documented chops.
As usual, Moore was a mensch behind the kit, often leaping out of his seat while delivering frenetic and tight beats. However, on this night, the stand-out star was stud trombonist Henry. Henry consistently interjected his own relentless balance of power and nuance while punching out beautiful fills and solos on this trombone. Dressed in a black leather vest with black leather biking gloves, he exuded 'coolness' that adequately reflected that of the entire Galactic band's music and vibe.
Having released 10 albums, Galactic's last offering was 2012's, "Carnivale Electricos" but they just dropped another stand-alone single in early February. With JJ Grey leading with his fiery vocals on the record, "Higher and Higher" is a successful blending of styles and approach between the talent involved. He joined the band on stage to deliver a bombastic and extremely satisfying version of the new song that the audience immediately embraced with adulation. Meanwhile, the wall projections, which are becoming an important and noted fixture at Cap Theatre shows, displayed a beautiful and trippy waterfall cascading down from the roof which suitably mirrored the smooth flow of events on stage.
With the abundance of love being shared throughout the proceedings and so much amazing music shared for hours from the Cap stages, it was a Valentine's Day to remember for all in attendance.
Set List: Boban, Hey Na Na, He Calls Me Mama, Dollar Diva, Bongo Joe, You Don't Know, Tornado, It's a Man's Man's Man's World, Higher and Higher, Groovy Lady, From the Corner to the Block, Quitters Never Win, Heart of Steel, Boe Money Encore: Does it Really Make a Difference, I Want You Back