Words: Kevin Kelly | Photos: Michael Lepek
For a chilly night in Chicago, it didn't take long for the Riviera Theatre to heat up as Galactic hit the stage. Shortly after 9pm, Stanton Moore’s ever-consistent rhythm signaled a punchy start to the show, as each of Galactic's core members grabbed at least one shining moment in the soulful, opening groove.
The night's first tune was fine foreshadowing of a night that would contain stellar individual moments as well as collective jams that Galactic fans cherish.
But these jams were arugably overshadowed when singer Erica Falls hit the stage to add her phenomenal voice to the fantastic New Orleans funk instrumentals. As suggested in her lead vocal of Galactic’s second song of the night, “Higher and Higher,” Falls takes an incredible band to another level with ferocious contribution.
Following a short break after Galactic’s New Orleans funk-fueled set, Lettuce hit the stage and brought a different version of the style with their edgy Berklee-inspired jazz-funk from the Northeast.
E.D. Coomes was a literal metronome pacing up to the front of the stage and back, rolling his bass riffs, while guitarist Adam “Shmeeans" Smirnoff rocked rhythms across hits like “KHRU” and “Elephant Walk,” as well as an incredible cover of Earth, Wind & Fire’s anthem “Remember the Children”.
Heated and happy from the tunes and plenty of dancing, fans rolled out of the Riviera and back into the cold without a care.
The enjoyment of funk from these two regions brought a welcomed respite to the Windy City winter.
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