GALACTIC Turns New Orleans Funk Inside Out at Orlando’s Plaza Theater
Known for their eclectically infused funk and jazz sound, Galactic has been a touring and musical force for 18 years. The quintet has built a strong catalog featuring ten studio and live albums to date; but are also driven by a dedicated work ethic built on the strength of their high caliber musicianship and evolving live shows.
On January 16th, 2013, Galactic performed at the Plaza Theater in Orlando, FL. This venue has become one of Orlando’s premier spots for live music and its newly redesigned main theater stage is a perfect setting for concerts. It is easy to see why they continue to bring in top notch national touring bands with a great atmosphere and amazing sound. The night was started by ”Art Official,” a Miami based trip-hop band and Orlando natives, “funkUs,” who delivered a spirited performance that saw local guest musicians joining them onstage, showing a strong community bond.
This was to be my 4th time seeing the band perform and each experience has been uniquely different. From the more jam and funk laden festival shows, to guest rappers and classic rock covers, each Galactic concert has proved to showcase the bands willingness to move in different directions musically. Although their epic and lengthy instrumentals receive the biggest ovations by long time fans, the band has been able to include elements of world music, electronic, hip hop and blues in their arsenal.
Made up of long standing members, drummer Stanton Moore, guitarist Jeff Raines, Hammond organist Rich Vogel, bassist Robert Mercurio and saxophonist Ben Ellman, Galactic was joined by guest vocalist Corey Glover, from the popular late 80′s and 90′s Rock band, “Living Colour.” Glover has been the group’s go to vocalist for the past year, performing on much of the 2012 tour into the New Year.
Touring in support of their latest 2012 studio release, ‘Carnivale Electricos,’ the show opened with a vintage and groove oriented Stanton Moore drum solo. Moore was ahead of steam and swiftly transitioned the band into the opening song. His righteous pocket filled grooves are always the backbone of the music; carrying the band in and out of each passage with ease. Ellman’s saxophone and Vogel’s organ jams provide most of the lead solos for the band, while Mercurio and Raine’s bass and guitar riffs provide whatever textures and undertones may be needed.
The first three songs of the set were classic Galactic instrumentals. The band then quickly introduced Corey Glover onto the stage. Known for his high octane vocals, Glover melded perfectly with the band, showing versatility and deep range in his voice. His stage presence and energy was a hit with the crowd, especially during covers of The Beatles “I am the Walrus,” Living Colour’s own hit, “Cult of Personality” and the encore of the set, the Rolling Stone’s “Sympathy for the Devil.”
Once again Galactic delivered a high energy, dance till you drop live show punctuated by high energy, virtuoso playing and guest vocalist Corey Glover delivering a passionate performance. If you have not been able to catch this band live, they are a must-see for not only fans of funk and jam bands, but for all music lovers. Music Binds Us All.
For a complete listing of Galactic’s tour schedule, check out: www.GalacticFunk.com.
Written by Joe Lederman of The Dropa Stone
*Please note, this article will be updated with a full set list as soon as it becomes available.*