Words by James Farrell | Photo by Rod Snyder
I have to admit, after wrapping up a long, exhausting day at work, the task of going straight to the opening night of Galactic’s four-night run at the Brooklyn Bowl seemed more grueling than exciting. Of course, it didn’t take long for that to change, as the band delivered a tight, hard-hitting barrage of New Orleans soul that gave everyone in attendance a reason to celebrate.
First of all, it would be a sin to talk about this show without mentioning the explosive opening performance given by Glen David Andrews and his New Orleans band. Andrews performed with such power that the use of a microphone was optional, both while singing and playing trombone. He did a number of songs from within the crowd, screaming at the top of his lungs with us out on the floor while his band remained locked-in on stage.
Galactic had an immediate impact, demonstrating their incredible precision and cohesiveness on “Cineramascope,” from the album Ya-Ka-May. Held together by the fiery rhythm section of Stanton Moore (drums) and Robert Mercurio (bass), the band commanded complete control over tight grooves while displaying their impressive instrumentals on all fronts. Galactic’s tight-knit musicianship inspired soulful dancing and unconscious expressions of euphoria throughout the whole venue.
The night was packed with special guests, such as New Orleans funk legend Cyril Neville of The Meters. Neville first came out during “Gossip” and returned periodically throughout the night to provide soulful vocals and percussion. Glen David Andrews took the stage again to join Galactic in a version of “You Don’t Know” that brought the raw explosiveness of the opening set.
The most notable guest of the night was 11-year-old guitar prodigy Brandon Niederauer. Any indication that the band would go easy on the young rocker was immediately dismissed as Moore kicked the band into yet another funky, fast-paced jam. Niederauer played with the grace of a veteran, and the Brooklyn Bowl crowd grew increasingly wild with every note. A broken string fazed Niederauer momentarily, but after some help from the stage crew, he was back on track for a few more songs. Crisis averted.
Perhaps the most disappointing part of the night was billed special guest singer Maggie Koerner. The problem wasn’t that she couldn’t sing; it was that she was incredible and only came out for one song. After an impressive performance, Koerner left the audience wanting more as she exited to wild applause. Fortunately, Galactic was able to fill that hole with the rest of their set.
Galactic continues to tour over the next few months. This is a must-see show for all music fans, so be sure to catch them at one of their upcoming dates!
TheWaster.com | BK