Friday, October 24, 2008

Review: Glactic @ Paradise Rock Club (10.15)

If that’s what goes on every night in the clubs of New Orleans, then punch my ticket, for I have found my earthly destination.
Wednesday night at the Paradise Rock Club, New Orleans funk-rockers Galactic blew the minds of everyone in the crowd with their driving, intense grooves and incredible musicianship.

The five-piece band, who toured last year with a number of rappers such as Chali 2na, Boots Riley and Mr. Lif in support of their latest album From The Corner To The Block, came out following the set of openers the Crown City Rockers with some serious instrumental funk.

The opening few songs were highlighted by “The Moil” from their 2003 album Ruckus. The song’s monster opening riff started a huge dance party in the crowd that lasted for the rest of the night.

Joining Galactic on stage after “The Moil” and staying for most of the set were trumpet player Shamarr Allen, winner of the Best Emerging Artist award in the Big Easy in 2008, and trombonist Corey Henry, “two of New Orleans’ finest musicians” according to Galactic saxophone player Ben Ellman.

That statement barely did justice to just how good the band was with the added musicians. Operating with a full horn section, Galactic took off and ran through a two-plus hour show that had too many highlights and mind-blowing moments to remember.

Emcee Raashan Ahmad of the Crown City Rockers joined the band on stage during one song, and guitarist Jeff Raines and keyboardist Rich Vogel were on fire throughout the night, controlling the jams and playing expertly off the horns while drummer Stanton Moore’s enthusiasm was infectious.

The band ended the night’s set with the title track “From The Corner To The Block,” with Allen rapping the first verse and Henry rapping the second and everyone joining in for the triumphant chorus, which saw Ellman, Allen and Henry dancing in sync with each other while playing the horn lines.

While the set closer was easily the greatest moment of the show, the encore produced perhaps the most remarkable moment. Ellman introduced the crowd to his cousin, who came out on stage and unleashed a blistering ten-minute saxophone solo that left the rest of the band clearly impressed.

Galactic’s Brass Tacks Tour with Allen and Henry was definitely one of the greatest and funkiest things I have ever seen. With talent like this coming out of New Orleans, Boston can only hope they come back soon.

-- Dan Rys

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