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Galactic And Turkuaz Keep Revelers On Their Toes At The Fonda Theatre [Photos]

first_imgIs there anything better in life than the feeling of pleasant surprise? The term itself implies a certain mildness, but in truth, the full run of what can be pleasant runs much wider across a positive spectrum, as Galactic and Turkuaz demonstrated to riveting effect at the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood on Friday night.That these two phenomenal outfits of funk—Galactic from New Orleans, Turkuaz from Brooklyn—were on the same bill was no shock. After all, that’s how they were listed on the ticket from the get-go. But each band busted out its fair share of twist and turns, keeping the crowd guessing in joyous revelry for well over two hours combined.After a stirring opening set of blues from Memphis, Tennessee’s Southern Avenue, Turkuaz kicked things into high gear with its particular brand of brass-backed funk. With each member monochromed in a different color of the rainbow, the band blew its way through more than a few crowd-pleasers, from “Nightswimming” and “On the Run” to “Percy Thrills, The Moon Dog”, “Bubba Slide”, and “Monkey Fingers.” Along the way, they paid homage to their funky forebears with a nod to Sly and the Family Stone. And while Dave Brandwein, Sammi Garett and Shira Elias were spectacular on vocals throughout—with Garett and Elias keeping the room grooving with their synchronized dance moves—it was Josh Schwartz that brought the night to a pinnacle with his baritone sax hitting a range that stretched into the highest registers of the set.Schwartz’s stunning star turn seemingly set the stage for the delightfully dizzying series of twists and turns to come from Galactic. The Bayou-based band got everyone bumping to “You Don’t Know”, “Right On (Into the Deep)” and beyond, with plenty of room for call-and-response and hidden talents to burst through. When Shamarr Allen wasn’t busy blowing everyone away with his tremendous trumpeteering, he was spitting rhymes with his own pipes. Ben Ellman was as much a savant on the saxophone as he was humming away on his harmonica.In keeping true to its roots as a collaborative outfit, Galactic got plenty of help from outside sources to spice up its already tasty offerings. The group reached back to New Orleans for the soaring vocals of Erica Falls, and cleared center stage for Trombone Shorty to blast everyone into the weekend with a riveting encore.When Galactic needed a wider array of wind instruments, the band turned to Turkuaz’s horn section for back up on “Does It Really Make a Difference?”. And with the ensemble spending the evening in L.A., it was only fitting to have Chali 2na bring everything to a crescendo with his smooth moves on the mic—from “Think Back”, his collaboration with Galactic, to Jurassic 5 classics “Freedom” and “Quality Control”.In truth, neither group needed to catch the audience so off-guard to put on a great show. Both are full of tremendously talented musicians, and both come equipped with superb song catalogues to speak for themselves.But neither Turkuaz nor Galactic would be true to its identity without curveballs. Nor would they have been quite so natural fits on the marquee together, or within the jam scene generally. It’s that element of surprise—from covers and rarities to special guests and jazzy explorations—that at once sets this sect apart from the rest of the music world and helps it bind all kinds of genres together in a more-than-mildly-pleasant tapestry. And it’s that approach to the element surprise that keeps fans coming back, always seeking that ecstatic reaction to the unexpected.Check out the full gallery below, courtesy of photographer Brandon Weil.Turkuaz & Galactic | The Fonda Theatre | Los Angeles, CA | 3/30/18 Photo: Brandon Weil Photo: Brandon Weilcenter_img Load remaining imageslast_img read more

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