Posts Tagged ‘Galactic’

Live music? I say Amen, and the smaller the venue the better. But not just any band is going to be able to put out a performance that makes my face nearly crack from smiling, makes me laugh and cheer out loud, and leaves me sweating and panting from dancing as hard as I can. Galactic is one of those special bands, and last weekend they played two shows at the Brooklyn Bowl. 

brooklyn bowlA nice coincidence, since the Brooklyn Bowl is my new favorite venue. Owned and operated by the same guy who ran the Wetlands in Tribeca, Brooklyn Bowl replicates much of what made the Wetlands so special: you can stand right against the stage or watch the show easily from the bar; there are areas away from the stage where you can lounge with friends but still hear the music; and there’s a funky themed decor (bowling alley!) that is a little bit hokey but also just right. Yes, you can bowl at the Brooklyn Bowl. and you can get dinner in the restaurant, all while the band is playing. The Brooklyn Bowl is one of only two reasons I’ll ever go to Brooklyn (the other being visiting my best friend CB is the first). Funny, it’s only a few times I’ve seen shows there but I already feel brooklyn bowlso at home there, like it’s “my” joint. 

Galactic has got to be my all-time favorite band to see live. I love these guys. They jam, they funk, they rock, jazz and dance. The swirl it all together until it feels like Stanton Moore’s drumbeats are aimed directly at my chest and Robert Mercurio’s bass licks have possessed me by the hips and are shaking me left and right. Is the music within me, or without? Last Thursday night, they were barely three songs into their set and the lines were already blurred. I wiggled and jumped, I swayed and shimmied, I reached for the sky and closed my eyes. We–me, the band, the audience–did this for nearly three hours. Talk about an endurance event. I watched Stanton bang away, and the saxophonist wail away, and the trumpeter blow and rap and stage-dive (yes! twice!) and I thought–surely you guys are athletes like me. Stamina for elation. And look! Mercurio is performing in Nike running shoes! I checked him out all night long trying to sort out if he is an actual runner or not. (Could be–he’s trim and has a cute butt.) 

trombonistThe first night’s show wasn’t sold out, so I was able to dance right next to the stage the whole show. Once I circled back to Husband and our friends and said, “This crowd is great! I don’t feel like punching anyone!” I wore my blue sequined tank top; this is my post-race celebration top. I only wear it right after a big race or the Green Mountain Relay. Saturday the Brooklyn Bowl was mobbed–I walked in and immediately felt the heat of a thousand bodies ready to groove. I wore jeans, an old pair of running shoes, and my little white tank top that says La Petite Coquette.” (Get the joke?) Galactic’s first set was as energetic as ever, but I spent most of my time either swaying in the back next to where Husband had his mike stand and DAT recorder set up or waiting at the bar for a glass of wine. (No comments from the peanut gallery about how I am now officially an old woman for drinking wine at a rock concert.–PF) I couldn’t deal with the crowds up front, and was offended on behalf of the band that the venue was airing the Yankees vs Angels game, and everyone kept cheering for the team instead of the band. Manners, people! They aren’t a fucking wedding band! 

But once the game was over and the second set started up, inexplicably the crowd cleared out and I was able to elbow my way up all the way to the front, on Mercurio’s side of the stage, again. Oh yeah, it’s Jazzercise time! I danced so hard that it felt like I was in the middle of a long run or a race. I know you know that feeling–when everything else slips away and it’s just you, your heart, your lungs and the rhythm. That feeling is your body and your mind, conspiring to transport you and to elate you; to lift all your troubles until you cross the finish line, until the music stops, until you arrive home…

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I knew I wouldn’t be able to get in a run home after work today, so I got up early and did two loops of the neighborhood, for a total of four miles. The weather was perfect, sunny and cool.  Even while I was sweating, I could still recognize that the air held its morning chill, and it was refreshing. The run, on the other hand, was difficult.  My body just does not run at its best unless its had at least an hour to fully wake up and rev up.  Up at 5:30 and on the pavement at 5:50, my body was asking, “Where’s the coff–” when I jerked it into a run up 43rd Avenue. This resulted in a slow run (4 miles; 39 minutes) but in a righteous run.  There’s nothing like getting up at dawn (or in the dark!) and hitting the road to make you feel superior all day long.  That’s right, I nodded at the donut-nibbler on the subway, I ran four this morning.  Strutting past my boss’s office, I thought, You sent me 50 emails before 8am.  So what? I ran four miles before 7.

The downside of running in the morning is that there’s hardly any chance the day is going to get better; I had my highlight before I even walked the dog, and everything that followed was sure to be a letdown.

Luckily, Huband and I had tickets to the Jammys at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, where the jam band community gave out awards and played all kinds or musical-chair sets.  It was a great night, up until the Headcount All-Stars started covering Phish (I just don’t get it. Except for the one song where the lyrics go Run Run Run like an antelope going out of control.  That, I can relate to.).  Guest musicians included Joan Osborne (one of my all-time favorite singers ever), the singer from Squeeze (he was very excited to be there), Chalie Tuna from Jurassic Five (love his voice), Booker T. Jones, Grace Potter (so hot) and of course Warren Haynes, Galactic (yum), and The Fab Faux (with that leaping bassist from the Letterman Show and Jimmy Vivino). Now, it’s 1 AM on Thursday and I have to get up in five short hours to pack for my trip to Colorado.  Am visiting Brother, Sis-in-Law, Nephew and Niece through Sunday (when I’ll run the Title 9k).

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Galactic, Irving Plaza

Baby baby!  Last night’s Galactic show at Irving Plaza was a time machine!  Not that their set was a throwback, but rather, it was so electric that it took me straight back to October 1998 when I saw them for the first time.  The second I strode into the venue, I felt my body just respond to the music — and my body felt 28, not 33!  I danced all night long, was completely plugged in.  It really was the most physical experience I’ve had at a show in years.  Their first set was so perfect, it was like they wrote it just for me.  I kept saying, “What are they going to play tomorrow?” because they kept pulling out all my favorites.  It was the sax player’s birthday, so the band was in a fabbity mood up on stage.  At the set break I got to catch up with my gf L., who I knew from work but now she’s gone back to school and is into her own thing.  Love her/miss her. I danced so hard the second set I was all sweaty.  For the final song, I pushed my way to the front, which wasn’t too hard because a whole bunch of fools cleared out halfway through the second set.  While I love being up close to watch the guitarist’s fingerwork, and to watch the drummer interact with the bassist, and to catch all the ways the band members give their signals as they move through the set, I have to say the sound SUCKS.  It’s like listening to it through a television.  The sound is so much better in the back right below the balcony where we always stand and dance.  But, it was nice to be up front to watch the cuh-yute bassist play for one song.  Mm Mm.  As in MMarried.  Anyway, while I was up there the crew brought out a cake with candles ablaze for the lead, and threw down a big banner behind the band that was this giant blowup of baldie’s head, blowin’ on his horn.  Too funny (and sweet).  It was really great to see that the band is (in addition to being an amazing group of musicians) a thoughtful bunch of guys who would arrange for a cake and a poster.

Anyway, Husband and I stumbled home around 2am, ready to do it all again.  Which we will, as Galactic plays their second show tonight.

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