Review: The Bridge / Galactic @ Park West

Galactic took stage around 10PM, blasting the venue with a frenzy of vibrant lights. The words “Ya-Ka-May” brightly framed the band in a Technicolor glow fit for a Sound Tribe show. The quintet was joined by the Coreys – Corey Glover (vocals, Living Colour) and Corey Henry (trombone, Rebirth Brass Band), both of whom added extra flair and charisma to the wild melodies at large.

A sold-out crowd danced anywhere and everywhere possible; the entire venue was filled with impulsive dance moves celebrating Galactic’s bold bursts of colors and brass. It was nearly impossible to dance without getting whacked by a waving arm or swaying hip. Galactic pumped over two hours of loud, innovative sonic chaos. There were hints of New Orleans brass-soaked hip-hop infused with soul, matched by a perpetual fanfare of heavy handed funk-rock. Organist Richard Vogel created rich textures of jazz wrath, highlighted by a tag team of ruthless brass from saxophonist Ben Ellman and Henry on trombone. And then there was Stanton Moore, unstoppable drummer extraordinaire. Moore was an animal on the drums, banging out eclectic syncopated rhythms stacked one on top of the other.

Galactic’s set came to an end with an epic 15-minute drum solo by the master of percussion. For his big finale, Moore removed his snare from its stand mid-solo and proceeded to wander the stage. Without missing a beat, his drum line led to the foot of the stage, where Moore crouched down and perpetuated his beat in audience reach. His bandmates circled around him and stood in place each holding a different drum. Moore proceeded to go to town on the hand-held drum kit as the audience shook to the beats. Of course Galactic could not leave their fans high on rhythm. They returned by popular demand and closed out the night with a three-song encore.

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