Harmony Park – Summer Sessions
August 8, 1999
Rigor Mortis, Charlie Dozen, Go Go*, Love On The Run, Thrill, Something's Wrong With This Picture**, Doublewide, Sweetback***, Crazyhorse Mongoose, Africa, Bootlegger
* w/ Keith Moseley (String Cheese Incident)
** w/ Rob Dehark (moe.)
*** w/ Warren Haynes on Guitar
This show is still early in Galactic's evolution. They could still be classified as a full on funk band, bringing raw energy and in-your-face grooves every night.
The G-men were part of the Summer Sessions Tour with Gov’t Mule, String Cheese Incident and moe. Throughout the whole tour, jam sessions exploded out of each band's sets. Galactic has always loved a special guest appearance, and this tour fit their loose groove swapping perfectly.
The boys eased out of the gates with "Rigor Mortis." I have always felt that Robert Mecurio has been an unsung hero in this band. He holds it down solidly aside the wildly aggressive Stanton Moore. His groove throughout the opening song blasts the listener upside the head with energy and authority. Also, Jeff Raines was in fine form, playing with a creative fire and an original style.
"Charlie’s Dozen " picks up the pace as Stanton’s aggressive ass-kicking drums begin to take over and Ben Ellman really starts to blow on the saxophone. Ben’s solos take on the life of a painter, slinging paint on a canvas, as he rips up and down the track. He is somewhat reckless and at the same time perfect, filling holes flawlessly with syncopated horn blasts.
Then the guests start to roll out. First up was Keith Moseley from String Cheese Incident, holding it down on the bass for "GoGo." As Moseley and crew walked it out, Rich Vogel reared his head, taking some monstrous solos from behind his Hammond organ. There is no doubt at this point the set would go down as a heavy show for the up-and-coming act from New Orleans.
They immediately dove into a funk-filled "Love on the Run," so provocative it would make a porn star blush. Then Theryl "Houseman" DeClouet stepped to the mic and delivered the goods – no lame shout outs, just rocking vocals and heavy hitting grooves. Mercurio still seemed to be full-on attacking the audience with heavy-handed bass lines, and Vogel, like a master chef, continued to throw spice at the stew with piercing synthesizers and groove laden organ.
Houseman stayed on board for "Thrill." The band then was joined by moe.’s Rob Dehark for "Something’s Wrong with this Picture," which led into a funky "Doublewide." The subtle snake charm of Ellman’s sax crept into the mix as Stanton Moore began the push toward lift off.
Things continued to build then release just before fully exploding, which was a nice change of pace from the full-on ripping the band had displayed thus far. Have no fear, though – they could not contain themselves long, and before "Doublewide" ended and "Sweetback" began, the intensity was back up.
In fact, when Warren Haynes joined the band for "Sweetback," it may very well have been the point of overload.
Wasting no time getting things started, Warren immediately found his place and began riffing some massive teases overtop of the Galactic groove. Blistering slide over top of frantic beats and relentless bass led to a "Third Stone" jam, and possibly even a "Little Drummer Boy" tease thrown in for good measure.
Though there were no special guests left, the show certainly had plenty of life left in it. Raines , positively inspired by Haynes’ performance, riffed hard throughout "Crazyhorse Mongoose," and finished strong with an aggressive "Bootlegger."
This was not the first hot Galactic show, and it certainly was not the last (Galactic still blows it out to this day, though their sound may have drifted from funk toward an experimental groove incorporating electronic elements, hip hop and many other genres and influences). I highly recommend seeking out this tape and listening to it loud. Hell, maybe even your neighbors will like it.
If you like your neighborhood, and do not want to upset your peeps next door, go old school and mail it to somebody.
Thanks for playing!