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Published: 2006/03/01
by Randy Ray

Galactic, Marquee Theatre, Tempe, AZ 2/8

Youse rolls youse dice and youse takes youse chances

Galactic chose to open their 2006 tourCoup de Gras (or, if you are really hip, Coup de Grad)a hundred stone throws away from my humble abode so I jumped in the aging Vee Dubya, popped in some live Duo with Cactus and went down to the Marquee to be slaughtered by the N’awlins funk madness. I was not disappointed by the tour opener.

The first set was a massive bombardment of bad sound mix coupled with extremely heavy and distorted bass with the incredible calisthenics and drum work of the epochal Stanton Moorea man so heady that he even knew to give a dorky rock critic a stick at the end of the showmore on that later (if my fingas remember to rattle those keys).

Did I mention the distortion coming from the speakers?

Remember that sound at the beginning of Back to the Future when, God Bless Him, a pre-Parkinson’s Michael J. Fox first plugs into that giant amp and he gets knocked back to the wall in a wild burst of decibel fury? Wellthe first set kind of sounded like that except that the sound was more adventurous, funky and LOUD.

Did I mention the distortion coming from the speakers?

“Funkybird>Tiger Roll>Bounce Baby>Space Headz” served as the post-opening, post-speaker soundcheck meat of the first set as Moore stood up and pounded his drums and cymbals and the rest of the band tore through the rhythms like 2006 would be completely encapsulated into this one evening. Suddenly, the roof opened on the Marquee and everything just sort of floated and segued into the Arizona evening sky. This was the jam goods and the energy coming off of the stage was that wonderful vibrant vintage that surfaces as desperate and mad but subsides and bites into your skin as heavy dance funk. I was completely dehydrated by the time the “Garbage Truck” rolled over us and finished the set but I knew that the rust had come off of the Galactic starship and we were really in for some major sensory overload in the second set.

Deaf, dehydrated and delirious, I ran into my old New York chum from the 5/3/05 Umphrey’s McGee Show Review episode and we lapped up the incredibly delicious Galactic second helping while catching up on current events.

“Shibuya>Calypso Minor” served as the proper set tuning fork as your reviewer smugly sits back and sighs at such a keen choice of wordsanyway, enough of that. The second set was dialed in from the first to the last note and Galactic gave notice that the tour was WELL UNDERWAY and you better hop on as they ain’t stoppin’ for nada.


Listen-Shake a Tail Feather-Listen-Head Bob-“Right on, mahn!” “COOL, BRO!”


Listen-Scribble Notes-Gulp-Scribble Notes-Write wonderfully inarticulate poetic phrases in my battle-hardened pre-AA years, tour notebook that appeared intelligent and oh so jejune at the time but, upon further review, strike a WTF?! chord. Vibe it out, baby.

“Two Dots” and “Blackeyed Pea” closed out the extraordinary set of music as we shook our heads at the incredible dichotomy of the two sets. Actually, I thought the opening tour set rocked after the initial mixing issues were corrected but my East Coast buddy wasn’t so artsy fartsy and forgive and forget as I. “The first set SUCKED,” he stated.

As we rocked back and forth, jumped up and down and shouted encouragement at the stage, Galactic finished the show and the happy and energetic crowd roared their weighty approval as they had done throughout the night. The Arizona crowd ain’t always the most heady in America but darned if I can think of a bunch of people that don’t react as well when a really strong jamband enters town, lays down the goods, conquers the theatre and heads back to their tour bus with a huge smile across the Group Mind.

I would be terribly rude and remiss if I did not mention the wonderful opening act, John Lisi & Delta Funk with Big Chief Monk Boudreaux. If Galactic is Extraordinary N’awlins Magick on Mars, then Lisi, Boudreaux and tribe are NEW ORLEANS MUSIC. PERIOD. They played rock solid funk rhythms that coupled ageless blues with heartbreaking rollicking soul. Their drummer was excessively beat happy and just plain dead on perfect. Several months past Hurricane Katrina and the vibrant spirit of the great and timeless New Orleans city is very much alive and pushing on towards the heart of ’06 with Galactic, Lisi and Boudreaux bringing the lusty Mardi Gras to the quixotic desert.

Randy Ray stores his work at www.

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