By Pat Gunther
The smooth stylings of New Orleans’ funk outfit Galactic are primed to rock the Varsity Theatre on Sept. 26th. The iconic jazz-jam band has kicked off a tour, now on its southernmost leg of the States, ending up on Miami’s “Jam Cruise 13” on Jan. 6 as the quintet’s last stop of the transnational concert series. Though the group’s last cohesive album, Carnivale Electricos, came out in 2012, Galactic’s interesting and improvised sound seems to be as fresh as it has ever been.
Here’s why you cannot miss Friday’s show.
1. Classic NOLA Fusion
The group, which has been a staple of New Orleans’ funk scene since the mid 1990’s, retains that sultry, warm vocal offerings and sharp, groovy guitar work provided by Jeff Raines. The strong suit of the group, however, is the incredibly talented Ben Ellman’s production with the horns. With such a typical repertoire of classic New Orleans jazz/funk fusion music, Galactic adds their own flavor in a genre that has so many differing acts.
2. One Hell of a Show
The invigorating live act of Galactic has helped blur the lines between jazz, funk and hip-hop fusion with collaborations from varying soul singers and a few cuts with Blackalicious’ Gift of Gab. As an act that crosses over into a number of different genres, Galactic remains lively with their annual Mardi Gras all-nighter, and a recent single titled “Higher and Higher” featuring soul vocalist JJ Grey. Though their studio output has been limited over the past two years, Galactic still puts on one hell of a New Orleans’ funk show.
3. Worldly Influences
Their most recent album is a compilation of worldly influences – New Orleans’ funk, Brazilian Bossa Nova fusion, and punchy reggae inspired tracks with Mystikal dropping bars. The message from the impresarios is crystal clear: no genre is off limits when it comes to experimentation. As the album celebrates the parties and good times across the world, Galactic certainly knows how to capture that feeling in a jam-packed concert venue or an empty studio recording session.
4. Small Venue, Big Magic
The vibes of the record are evident from the get go, and the talented lineup has yet again returned home to surely explore new instrumentation after undoubtedly finding a number of new and unique influences. In order to properly catch the energy and sound of Galactic, though, a stop at a smaller venue like the Varsity Theatre will allow you to experience that New Orleans funk magic firsthand.
Evoking the feelings of the French Quarter, humid summer nights and the warm soul food of the Big Easy presents Galactic as a homegrown favorite of Louisianan’s concertgoers, and has expanded their influence to reaching audiences across America from New York to Los Angeles. With the prospect of new material from the group on the horizon at the intimate Varsity Theatre, fans should be ready for a packed house of killer fusion music.
Friday, September 26th
With Special Guest NAUGHTY PROFESSOR
Doors open at 8PM
Tickets are $22 in Advance and $25 Day of Show
Available at The Chimes Restaurant on Highland Road, over the phone at 866.777.8932 and on-line at ticketweb.com