On a chilly Thursday night in Cleveland (03.01.12), fans lined up outside the Beachland Ballroom, ready to warm up inside to some Mardi Gras tunes performed by New Orléans based modern funk act, Galactic.
When Galactic came on stage around 9:45, the house was already stirring with laughter, drinks, and bright Mardi Gras spirit. The band’s set was decorated in the theme of their most recent album, ‘Carnivale Electricos,’ which illustrated the party that was taking place on the floor. Galactic has been without a lead singer for several years, so on their current trek they brought along guest vocalist Corey Glover (of Grammy nominated band Living Colour), who stole the show with his booming voice.
Galactic’s particularly notable songs were sung by Glover including “Heart of Steel” from their 2010 release, ‘Ya-Ka-May’ as well as “Hey Na Na,” “Out in the Street,” and “Ha Di Ka,” all from their new album ‘Carnivale Electricos’ (02.21.12; ANTI Records). The show was filled with fun, funky party tunes that were well received by the crowd. A diverse range of people from their mid-twenties to late-sixties partied like they were on the streets of New Orléans. The energy was mutual with Galactic, who utilized the intimacy of the Beachland Ballroom to enhance the experience of the show.
In such close quarters, Galactic could communicate and integrate into the party, as members of the band hopped up on stage from the crowd to perform songs. Mid-show, opening act The Soul Rebels were enjoying drinks and grooving with fans in the crowd before jumping onstage to perform with Galactic on their song “Karate,” and Glover joined both bands performing Living Colour’s hit, “Cult of Personality.” Both Galactic and Soul Rebels showed off their musical talent, battling back and forth between brass, drums, bass, and piano.
Each member of the band played a solo during the night and drummer Stanton Moore highlighted the night with his four-minute solo-jam. All the while, the crowd never stopped pulsing to the beats. Just when the show seemed to hit its peak, the opening riffs to Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” were played by guitarist Jeff Raines, kicking off an impressive cover that really demonstrated the band’s flexibility. As the show came to an end after a two song encore of “Ash Wednesday Sunrise” and Allen Toussaint’s “What is Success,” Cleveland got a taste of what Galactic calls “musical gumbo.”