Galactic is returning to familiar turf next week and is bringing a familiar voice along for the ride.
Singer Erica Falls has toured with the band for quiet a while now. After all, it was back in 2015 when the 22-year-old, ever-evolving New Orleans band introduced her to an appreciative Crystal Bay Casino Crown Room audience.
“Even though we’ve been known to go on tour with different vocalists over the last 10 years, it was always very organic the way people would come and go,” founding bass player Mecurio told Tahoe Onstage. “Erica has a solo thing going on, but she’s willing to put us in a priority situation.”
Crystal Bay has been a priority for Galactic as well. The band plays at Lake Tahoe’s shining venue almost every time it tours out West.
“It’s just kind of fun in the middle of a tour to play a smaller room,” Mercurio said. “You play in all these big rooms and then you just play a tiny little club and it brings you back in a good way.”
“Tahoe has a really great community of musicians and they always do those after-shows at the Red Room,” Mercurio said. “I tend to go out and see the show and I always end up meeting people and seeing old friends and so I get to see the community a lot more than some other cities.”
Galactic featuring Erica Falls returns to the Crown Room on Thursday, Sept. 13. Reno funk band Mojo Green will play the Red Room after-party. Tickets for the 9 p.m. show are $30. Galactic always sells out the Crown Room, but there were plenty available one week out.
The New Orleans-Crystal Bay connection is as beautiful as a bluebird Lake Tahoe day and as sweet as a beneigh treat. The Galactic show opens the weekend’s Silence of The Hams presents Hogs for the Cause West III, a benefit fundraiser for the families of pediatric brain cancer patients.
On Friday, celebrity chefs from New Orleans will prepare the Silence of the Hams’ Cause Gala in the Crystal Bay Steak & Lobster House. Todd Snyder headlines a Crown Room show with Mathew Curry in the Red Room.
On Saturday afternoon, there will be a NOLA-style pig roast and barbecue with music by The Lique and Jelly Bread. The Dean Ween Group plays in the Crown Room that night, followed by Gene Evaro Jr. in the Red Room.
Every time Galactic plays the Crown Room, it’s a memorable event. Below are Tahoe Onstage concert review excerpts from previous shows:
March 2018: From the first brassy licks of “Sugar Doosie” off 2015’s album, “Into The Deep,” CBC fans were treated to bite after explosive bite of a tasty funk muffaletta. Each song, like the classic NOLA sandwich, was a wonderfully married selection of varying rhythms and flavors. The duo of drummer Stanton Moore and bassist Robert Mercurio on the low end are as tight a foundational pair as you’ll find.
August 2016: The feeling at the end of the show felt familiar walking out to the cars. Sweaty, tired, smiling and buzzed on two hours of in-your-face funk. It was the feeling of witnessing masters at work. It was the feeling of Galactic.
February 2016: Erica Falls came back on to get the crowd singing and to woo us with her operatic range and finesse; the singer caught a rose a fan threw to her, and tucked it first behind one ear, and later into the neckline of her blouse, a perfect red complement to her classic, black silk attire. She bent down to chat with those closest to the stage, as the sax ground it down and back up again, surely raising the roof off the whole rocking place.
March 2015: The band wasted no time in bringing up their guest for the night, singer Erica Falls, to give a spark to the band’s “Higher and Higher.” Her impact was felt immediately as she got the crowd fist pumping along with her charging vocals. The band then ripped into the first highlight of the night with the one-two cover punch of Baby Huey’s “Hard Times” and the Art Ensemble of Chicago’s “Theme De Yo Yo.” On the former, Ben Ellman and Corey Henry rattled the crowd with their brass blasts over soulful singing from Falls, with Henry even taking over the mic for a rap verse in the middle. The song apexed in a bombastic outro as drummer Stanton Moore shot out of his stool and stood twirling his drum stick in between cymbal crashes. It’s always exciting to see the expressive Moore being moved from his perch by the music, and the crowd responded with a frenzied roar.
March 2014: It is hard to image a better performance than this one before a sellout crowd on a Sunday night. Stanton Moore spotted a fellow drummer up front in the audience and tossed him a stick. A few songs later he gave him another. That’s one cool set.