Galactic and Soul Rebels at Tipitina’s, New Orleans (The Heartbeat Of America)
There is something about New Orleans that has always captured my imagination: the history, the culture, the food, the Voodoo. I had yet to make the trek down South and decided it was about time I do so. I was pleasantly surprised to see that, Galactic, was playing at the famous, Tipitina’s, while I was there and the plans solidified. I had no clue what I was in for, from the vomit/ass smell of Bourbon Street to the beignets at Cafe Du Monde but in the end it’s all about Frenchman Street. I arrived in New Orleans after a long drive through the Deep South, stopping in Birmingham and a few other strange areas. Being in New Orleans is like stepping into some mythical land of beads bars. This is where America’s heartbeats. New Orleans is place beyond time and a place where you can feel the energy in every step you take. Every note, every tombstone every shuffle on the streets, seems to add the musicality of this city. You can feel New Orleans in the music and the culture.
Tipitina’s, seems as though, it hasn’t changed much since it’s opening. The logo, a giant hand holding a banana and the silhouette of Professor Longhair in the background, hangs high above the stage. I had to dig deep to find the history of Tipitina’s and the legend that surrounds it. I am not exactly sure which myth is true but I like to think there was a woman named, Tippy Tina, who sold fruit somewhere in the area. The opening act was vocally driven, with two lead female singers. This was a great warm up for Soul Rebels who came on like a category 5 hurricane. In fact, this entire performance was a Hurricane Michael fundraiser and was scheduled at the last minute. I had never seen Soul Rebels live and had a great time clapping and stomping in Tipitina’s to their high-energy, horn heavy, hip-hop funk.
My Air B&B was about 2 blocks from the venue so, I periodically took breaks from the great music to just relax and get my head right. I returned just as Galactic took the stage and was completely lost in this performance. While Galactic didn’t play a late set, it was filled with dynamic funk and guest vocalists. Showing their respects to New Orleans, they would play a fantastic set that was by far the best Galactic show I have ever seen.
This will certainly not be my last time in The Big Easy. I could definitely see myself living in New Orleans, seeing music every night and eating Creole food until my stomach pops. Frenchman Street was filled with amazing musicians and bands every night. Walking into a bar on Frenchman could mean seeing various Neville Brothers just hanging out, sitting in with various bands. The legacy of The Meters is still alive but I didn’t hear any true Voodoo music while I was there. Perhaps all music is laced with Voodoo in New Orleans. I truly hope to catch you all down in New Orleans!
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Editor: Robert (R.A.) Fadley
Freelance Writer, Musicologist, Music Journalist, Music Critic, Music Writer, Author, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Composer, Guitarist.