Galactic | 2.18.10

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If Galactic doesn’t inspire you to move your booty then you might be clinically dead.

The Pageant, St. Louis

Touring in support of their recently released Ya-Ka-May album, Galactic’s self-described “steamroller funk” assault was in full effect last night.

After taking the stage under cover of thick fog and near darkness, sax-man Ben Ellman introduced guest trombonist Corey Henry of New Orleans’ Rebirth Brass Band before launching into one of the band’s trademark instrumental jams.  Henry and Ellman traded extended solos over a rhythm section anchored by the perpetually amazing Stanton Moore on drums.  The talented trombonist performed nearly the entire show with the band, even taking the mic to sling some rhymes at one point.  While the pair couldn’t replicate the full-blown horn arrangements heard in many of Galactic’s songs, Henry’s contribution was definitely appreciated on horn-heavy tunes like “Tuff Love” and “Boe Money.”

The band performed under a thick haze of fog and smoke of a certain herbal origin while a constantly changing light show illuminated them primarily from below and behind.  The album’s title was displayed in lights at the back of the stage and provided another source of mood lighting, but the overall effect was that the band wanted to be heard and not seen.  The sizable crowd didn’t seem to mind and was in constant motion from the first note of the night.  I can’t blame them; if Galactic doesn’t inspire you to move your booty then you might be clinically dead.

Overall, the show was fantastic.  Full of pounding, funky instrumentals laced with epic solos (Stanton’s feature is always a joy to behold), the band delivered what they are known for:  a funky, funky party that bridges the gap between jazzbos and jambands.  My only disappointment is that they couldn’t deliver on the variety that their recent records offer.  Corey Henry was a capable enough rapper to pull off “From The Corner To The Block” and his horn playing is terrific but considering that their last two releases have featured a vast array of collaborative artists, I found myself wishing that there was a way to integrate more of them into the show.  I realize that touring with 50 performers is a good way for everyone to go home broke, but I can dream dammit. | Corey Woodruff

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