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Galactic Brings the Funk

February 8th, 2010

Galactic – Terminal 5 – February 5, 2010

Galactic - Terminal 5 - February 5, 2010

One of the few things New York City and New Orleans have in common is that each city needs little excuse for a party. Day ending in y? Party! Home team is playing this weekend? Party! So put the finest purveyors of New Orleans funk onstage at NYC’s Terminal 5 on a Friday, two nights before the big game featuring the Saints, and you shouldn’t be surprised by what you get—a big, fat “Who Dat?” fiesta!

Galactic got deep into it from the get-go. It seems they have a new twist whenever they hit the road, and this time was no different with trombonist Corey Henry, of Rebirth Brass Band, expanding the horn section and adding vocals, and Cyril Neville, of NOLA stalwarts the Meters and the Neville Brothers, joining in on percussion and vocals. The boys in the band were more than happy to play backup for long stretches of the evening, ceding the stage to their guests as the set twisted through dark gypsy funk, some hip-hop and plenty of down-home funk.

The unmistakable highlight of the evening came when Tea Leaf Green’s Trevor Garrod and Josh Clark—their band opened and seemed to squeeze a Grateful Dead-show’s worth of music into their generous 75-minute slot—joined Galactic onstage for a couple of tunes that were “by request” from visitors to the band’s Web site. The result was a fantastic detour into some classic rock as Galactic once again became the backing band to their guests, who nailed covers of the Band’s take on the Holland/Dozier/Holland classic “Don’t Do It” and the Rolling Stones’ “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking.” Clark turned the funk party into a raging rock and roll show, peaking with the guitar jam out of the Stones tune, which just may have single-handedly averted the path of the snowstorm coming up the East Coast. —A. Stein

Photos courtesy of Dino Perrucci | dinoperrucciphotography.com