Six years later I found myself seeing Galactic back at the Fox, which is one of the nicer places I've seen a show due to the intimate space.
We went to the Saturday show with Colby and Smrz, friends of the Joker, who went to school at Tulane. They know Galactic well and have been seeing them as long as I have (circa 1998). They were excited to see the opening band Papa Grows Funk, also a New Orleans fixture. The knew how to party New Orleans style. Smrz is a trip. He's a quote machine.
"My name is Czech," he explained. "It means 'tree.' I tell everyone that my name means 'God-like'..."
He also told us the two rules of partying in New Orleans; "Number one: bring your drugs. And number two: bring your sunglasses because you are going to be up partying all night and by the time you go home, the sun will be coming up."
Colby told me that she read the Tao of Pauly and I inspired her to get a Texas Toaster sandwich from Sonic. Sweet. Those things are addictive.
The Joker and I drank on Pearl Street on Saturday afternoon. I played some online poker on the patio of the Pearl Street Pub as I drank pints of Harp. We wagered on the horse race with the bartender. The Traveler's Stakes from Saratoga was going on and we entered a blind pool. The Joker picked a card out of seven. He got the 4 of diamonds, which meant that we had the #4 horse.... High Cotton. He was the third favorite on the board at 6-1 behind Bernardini who was an astounding 1-1. We started out fast and was in second for the first half of the race until the other horse blew past us. We lost.
We got to the Fox and grabbed a drink at one of the many bars in the tiny venue. Right next to the bar in the lobby area was the merchandise table for Galactic. The Joker pointed out a Galactic sticker that said, "Make Levees. Not War."
The merchandise guy printed up the setlist for the Saturday show. We saw the second set come hot off the printer. We knew that they'd be playing Immigrant Song, 2 Dots, and Shibuya.
Papa Grows Funk opened up and I've seen them at least six or seven times before in various places in Texas, New Orleans, and even in NYC. Papa Grows Funk is an odd mix. A fat guy plays keys. A brother is on drums. There's a hippie guy on sax and the guitar player is like a 50 year old Japanese hippie. Bobby Mac from Galactic sat in on bass for their entire set. Ben came out for a tune as well. Their highlight was a funkified version of the Beatles' Come Together. At one point the sax player picked up cool points with me when he put down his sax and played the cowbell for an entire song.
The G-men took the stage around 10:15pm. They played a setlist very similar to the night before in Fort Collins. It ended up not mattering any bit. They still smoked the hell out of the joint and played even better than on Friday.
Here's an incomplete setlist:
Galactic 8.26.06 Fox Theatre, Boulder, COThe first set started out hot and grew more intense as the night progressed. They first few songs reminded by old school Galactic shows from 1999. The Fox was sold out. The crowd was a little more rowdier than the Fort Collins show. We were close about ten or twelve people back from the front of the stage. I had the perfect view of Stanton all night.
Set 1: Doublewide, Go Go, ?, Church, Spiderbite, The Moil, Little Miss Lover, Bongo Joe > Kashmir
Set 2: Shibuya, Blacktalk (with Jason & John from PGF), Charlie Dozen (with Jason), Forbidden Horn, Immigrant Song, Bootlegger, Metermaid > Whole Lotta Love > Metermaid, 2 Dots, Baker's Dozen
Encore: Licorice (Stanton tune), Manic Depression
The highlight of the first set was Bongo Joe > Kashmir. As the Joker said, we could both see Kashmir every night. It's such a powerful tune and the boys jammed out a harder and better version than the night before. I didn't think it was possible. But they pulled it off.
I wasn't too wasted the entire show. I was never sober but never out of control, so everything felt good. The setlist found us outside smoking up in Marco which the Joker parked a few steps from the front of the Fox. He found the primo spot once again.
Second set was all Stanton in a high-power, bong rattling orgy of percussion. Shibuya got the entire crowd jumping around and dancing. Jason from Papa Grows Funk joined the band for Charlie Dozen. When we heard Galactic soundchecking Immigrant Song in Fort Collins, we figured it would pop up somewhere over the three show run. Of course we knew it was coming and still got blown away by the power of Ben's sax.
They also teased a little of Whole Lotta Love in the middle of Metermaid. Baker's Dozen to close the second set rocked.
I posted a few clips from the Saturday Fox Theatre show on You Tube:
Kashmir (8.26.06)Two down. One more show to go. Saturday's show was 21 and over only. Sunday is an all ages show which means that our buddy Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot can bring his 19 year-old girlfriend and her friends.
Immigrant Song, Whole Lotta Love > Meter Maid, Manic Depression (8.26.06)
The Joker's Galactic Video (8.26.06)