Review: Galactic @ The Space at Westbury, 2/6
The set started out relatively mellow, in large part due to the audience. I was surprised at the crowd’s lack of familiarity with even their most popular songs, which is something I have never experienced at a Galactic show. Perhaps they just lack a following on Long Island and their more dedicated fans in NYC didn’t make the trek because of an upcoming Terminal 5 show on February 15 (you can enter to win tickets to this show below!). Regardless, the odd energy in the house was certainly not a function of the venue. I was very impressed with The Space at Westbury upon my first visit to the new spot and thought that its sound system and atmosphere holds a lot of potential (Lotus and Railroad Earth recently had amazing performances at The Space!).
Maggie Koerner really stole the show with her powerhouse pipes and undeniably sensuous stage presence. This budding star has been touring with the band quite a bit since the summer and adds a special flavor to the mix. She appears on their newest track, “Dolla Diva,” which they busted out early on in the show. The well-known track “You Don’t Know” came a bit later, also fueled by Maggie’s stunning vocals.
Corey Henry (frequent guest trombonist from Rebirth Brass Band) turned the energy up 10 notches, taking center stage during the popular older track “From the Corner to the Block.” His rhyme-spitting, horn-blowing, and “WHO DAT”-ing gave the show an undeniable New Orleans flare.
Each band member had their moment to shine. The audience was treated to multiple drum solos by Stanton Moore and some epic extended jams by Jeff Raines crushing it on guitar. Ben Ellman killed it on sax throughout and got funky on the harmonica towards the end. Richard Vogel held it down on Hammond organ as always and Rob Mercucio laid down some groovy basslines. All in all, the band was on point.
A real treat was when opener Ryan Montbleau came back out to perform a fun, upbeat and passionate rendition of “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.” He is extremely talented and has an adorable yet powerful stage presence, making for the most high-energy song of the set and just a great time overall.
A big thank you to Galactic for a funkalicious night and that much-needed dose of NOLA that made it slightly easier to cope with the fact that I’ll be missing my first Mardi Gras in 5 years.
Missed Galactic at The Space at Westbury? Enter now for your chance to win a pair of tickets to their shows next weekend at The Capitol Theatre and Terminal 5!