GALACTIC featuring MACY GRAY
Galactic flies close to cosmic!
Headlining the Saturday night slot at the Field of Heaven stage was 20-year veterans, the New Orleans jazz-funkers, Galactic. They returned to Fuji after a 3 year absence. They frequently rotate guest singers and this time they were joined by famed pop soulstress Macy Gray, whose absence from Fuji Rock was even shorter as she was a guest singer for the David Murray Big Band in 2013.
Through the nearly 2 hour set the famed funk group bobbed and weaved through different styles and different people at the helm. They came out with just the band getting right to business dropping the funk; horns were blazing, the organ was squealing and the drummer was soloing. When Macy Gray came out the band played more to her strengths which is a bit slower and more traditional backing. Macy in her typical, laid back, sometimes sporadic style, did her thing for 40 minutes or so. This section lagged a bit as the band didn’t have as much freedom to shine with Macy leading the way.
With Gray sidelined for a bit, a backup singer named Jelly took control and really amped things up, she got the crowd rocking, the tempo was sped up and Jelly belted out some crunchy down south soul. She even led the crowd into a little sing along of Bob Marley’s “Three little birds”. With Macy back, things slowed down a bit again, but she only stuck around a few more songs ending with a crowd singalong of her smash “I Try”.
Finally free from distraction, Galactic was free to do what they do best, represent New Orleans music. Different members took to the mic to get the crowd chanting New Orleans choruses with them. Trombone player Corey Henry rocked the mic especially well getting everyone in the field singing along, “everybody say bomaye…bomayo….”
Gray and the backup singers made a final last appearance as the set closed. Galactic kept the energy high and the tempo fast, more in line with New Orleans style than Macy Gray style. It was a great show overall, but I feel if they stuck to this formula the whole set through it could have been magical.
Photo by Yusuke Kitamura Text by James Mallion
Posted on 2015.7.26 01:39