I’ve seen Galactic more times than I can keep track of, they may even be my 2nd-most seen live band besides Phish! If I had to guess, I’d say this was my 20th? I always love these guys, classic New Orleans space-funk, heavy on the horns. Saturday night did not disappoint in that respect.
We missed the first opener, Andy Frasco, although I’ve heard only good things about him. He did come out for the final Galactic group jam, along with several additional horn players. Second opener was Antibalas, a Brooklyn-based afro-beat group modeled after Fela Kuti’s Africa 70 band with some extra funk and dub sprinkled in. The music was danceable, but also fairly repetitive, and my crew soon became anxious for the main event, a Galactic throwdown.
The boys from NOLA came to rock out for their annual Winter stop at the Fillmore in Denver, and were carried throughout the evening by the legendary rhythm section of Stanton Moore on drums and Robert Mercurio on bass. Newly featured vocalist and New Orleans native Erica Falls came out to sing on about half the numbers, showcasing material from their most recent release, 2015’s Into the Deep. Ms. Falls was on point throughout the set, and there are rumors she will be the primary featured vocalist on the band’s next release, due out this year. The extended single set was full of energy, with psychedelic funk grooves accentuated by the frantic, swirling canister lights on stage. While the show was not a sell-out (Fillmore capacity is 4,000+) the crowd was vibrant and engaged, and was further energized by the encore, in which the band was joined by Andy Frasco, the Antibalas horns, and members of the Revivalists who just played a gig down the street at the Ogden Theatre that same night.
I always love a Galactic show, for the energy, for the dancing, and for the horns. This occasion was certainly a treat, and we all had a good ole’ funky time!