Galactic Returns and Conquers

June 27th, 2011

Galactic – Brooklyn Bowl – June 24, 2011

Wait around long enough and pretty much any band will come through New York City to play a gig. But some acts are just built for return visit after return visit. Take Galactic: Undoubtedly a New Orleans band through and through, they’re also quite at home in NYC, returning to Brooklyn Bowl last week for an extended run of shows barely a season after their last trip here. No matter, on Friday night the room was packed for the last show of the four-night stretch that brought out special guests and at least one turn through their vast repertoire.

Friday’s set started hot with touring-guest Corey Henry leading the charge on trombone. With nearly a full week of shows, each night brought a different kind of energy and Friday’s had a dark, ethnic tinge. There are a handful of songs in Galactic’s bag of tricks that have an Eastern European/Middle Eastern flavor, including “Balkan Wedding” and “Boban (Mere Yaara Dildara),” and the five-piece played them all to funky, sweaty perfection. Theirs is an assembly-line funk that seemingly will go on forever unless someone accidentally knocks the plug out of the wall. Corey Glover plugged right in with vocals on several tunes and Sex Mob’s Steven Bernstein added some groovy dignity to the night with some superlative additions on trumpet and the rarely seen slide trumpet.

Every lull in the night seemed to be matched by a doubled-up high. Rob Mercurio was an endless supply of impossibly funky bass riffs that had the crowd bumping from front to back. Friday night was date night at Brooklyn Bowl with lots of grinding couples, free flowing beer and an incredibly heterogeneous audience. The thing everyone had in common was smiles, plus the hopes of a funkified weekend ahead. Until the next time Galactic rolls through town. —A. Stein