As a Galactic enthusiast who became a fan during the From The Corner To The Block era , I was slightly disappointed to hear very few tunes from the 2007 album. Instead, three signs were hung across the backdrop that read “YA”, “KA”, and “MAY”- collectively, the title of their 2010 album, and a sign that the concert would consist mostly of new material.
The Monday night show started early and Galactic was in full swing before 9:30. After a few opening songs, the band invited touring partner Corey Glover (of Living Color) to the stage to add vocal variety to the otherwise instrumental band. Songs from YA-KA-MAY meet expectations of a band defined as a New Orleans jazz and funk group.
During one song, the lights dropped low to accompany a lengthy trombone and saxophone intro. As instruments were introduced into the mix, Galactic built up a brassy big band sound before the horns dropped out to make way for a fantastic, groovy guitar solo after which another instrumental build ensued.
Midway through, Galactic launched another track featuring Corey Henry (of Rebirth Brass Band) on the trombone in what could have been described as a Spanish-infused snake charming song. It was here that the show really picked up momentum, igniting a dance freak out across The Vogue and moving bold concert goers to light up and puff, puff, pass- despite security's best efforts to stop them.
Corey Glover was re-introduced to the stage after a perfectly-timed break that allowed Galactic ample time to play sans vocal additions. “This one’s for all the lovers on Valentine’s Day,” he announced as he approached the microphone. Not much later, select members of opening act Orgone came to the stage for a few songs, putting the amazingly soulful Fanny Franklin on vocals and giving me the opportunity to witness the only cowboy hat-wearing trombone player I’ve ever seen in my life.
After two hours of playing, Galactic closed their set with a rousing song that called for audience-assisted claps before re-entering for a funky two-song encore. So funky, in fact, that I’m positive I watched the guy in an orange hoodie try to start a mosh pit right in front of me.