The shaking outside of the House of Blues probably had even jaded Angelenos believing that yet another earthquake was making its presence known. Inside, it was just Galactic hitting the stage with a full force attack of funk that ravaged everyone in the room with as much tenacity as any Southern Californian temblor.
Galactic’s acid jazz/funk style, influenced by the likes of James Brown, the Funky Meters and Parliament Funkadelic, is something that must be heard live to be believed. The band was on fire. Weaving unbelievably funky jams and fusion improvs into a groove so thick they practically dared you to try and stand still. The band played with an energy that was absolutely contagious and the audience responded with wild dancing, sweating, singing and smoking (of the green variety that is). To keep the audience from collapsing, Galactic would throw out the occasional slow dirty funk or straight-up jazz tune as a breather.
Galactic is definitely a band that understands their audience, as was evident when the band set out on their cover of Black Sabbath’s “Sweet Leaf.” The song was an obvious nod to a large number of people in the audience who were fans of the sweet leaf themselves.
My one complaint was that much of the crowd didn’t roll in until after the opener, The Ivan Neville Band, was almost through with their set. They then started the rude and obnoxious process of pushing their way to the front of the dance floor and past those of us that had given our full time and attention to the opening band and were waiting patiently for Galactic. This type of behavior seems to be spreading and it’s an aspect of concert going I truly dislike. Overall though the band’s great jams and interaction with the crowd smoothed over the rough edges. I would highly recommend their live shows to everyone who loves a good jam band.