With brass and percussion in everyone’s favorite flavor (loud), it was tough to tell what was knocking down the pins at Brooklyn Bowl this weekend. Brooklyn’s own High & Mighty Brass Band supported Galactic for the last show of their four-night stand on Saturday. Together, they struck us with the kind of jazz fusion and New Orleans R&B that rattles your bones for days.
Drummer Evan Howard’s Ouija board shirt seemed to be a good omen, and was only closely rivaled in style by Ray Cetta’s outfit: bare chest, gold shades, and his sousaphone. Hands in the air, he blared out deep, gooey notes as the rest of the High & Mighty 9-piece partied onto the stage, shouting “H to the M to the B to the B, it’s the place to be!” No doubt about that.
Their hip-hop influence collided with trombones, trumpets, guitar, and sax as they banged out concoctions like “Officer” and “Acid Washed Jeans” from their latest release, Krewe York: Part I. Trading slick solos and scooping into huge hits, they all seemed at peace with triple-tongued articulations and at home in the uppermost registers. After the obvious response to, “Y’all mind if we play some more music?”, High & Mighty finished off with a departure from the stage and a mad bash in the center of the crowd.
Just when you thought you were warmed up for Galactic, the old school jammers all but grabbed you by the collar with their opening note. The 7 turned 8 when Erica Falls graced the stage, a work of art in her electric blue lipstick and fringed, flapper blouse. “I don’t know about you, but I came to have some fun tonight!” It wasn’t hard for the audience to follow suit. Backed by the impeccable funk of the veteran entertainers, Falls showed off smoldering vocals and movement in the smoky purple light. Underneath it all, Stanton Moore spoiled us on drums, making full use of his massive setup and reminding us what goosebumps feel like.
Galactic’s robust setlist included “Karate,” “Technocheck Collision,” “Hey Na Na,” “Theme De Yo-Yo,” “Right On,” “Boban,” “The Moil,” “MAD,” “Home is Where the Hatred is,” “I Can’t Stand the Rain,” “Long Live The Borgne,” “Hamp’s Hump,” “Funkier Than a Mosquito,” “Into The Deep,” “BlackBird Special,” and “Ooh Nay Nay,” followed by an encore of “Today’s Blues.”
Shoulder-to-shoulder and squealing, fans were skating through spilled drinks and quickly turning strangers into dance partners. Galactic gave them a dizzying mix to get down to, with a sound that could have put a strike in every lane.
Article: Olivia Isenhart
Photos: Shayne Hanley