Live Review: Galactic @ The Lyric Theatre, Lexington KY (4/6)

Galactic's Ben Ellman takes center stage at The Lyric Theatre Wednesday night, April 6.

Galactic’s Ben Ellman takes center stage at The Lyric Theatre Wednesday night, April 6.

Galactic’s performance at The Lyric Theatre Wednesday night was special for me in many ways. It featured a lively New Orleans funk band, a beautiful stage and light show, and an entertaining opening act from seasoned local veterans. All of that is great, but it’s not what I’ll remember most about Thursday night.

This evening was the first concert I’ve been to since November. (Clearly I take running this site seriously.) Fatigue is partly why LFI has been on hiatus, life getting in the way is another. Regardless, it has been a while, and I was happy to return.

Luckily, I can’t think of a better atmosphere to be welcomed back by. If you’ve never been to The Lyric Theatre, you absolutely should. It’s a beautiful space with friendly workers, and the venue clearly is invested in preserving a culture for art appreciation. Lyric Theatre Director Donald Mason greeted the crowd, thanking everyone for their time, and hinted at more concerts to come. Before the night was over, the crowd got first word of The Preservation Hall Jazz Band playing in May.

So I was greeted by an inspiring, fresh venue right away, followed by the passionate and dedicated Galactic fan base, which reminded me what live music is all about. It was the type of crowd that travels from all walks of life to see a band, and they couldn’t seem more friendly. I arrived as media, and chatted with several total strangers about Galactic, Lexington’s music scene, and West Sixth Brewing before the night was over. Friendly people openly sharing interests was at an all-time high here, and that’s what makes live music so much fun.

But really, what did you click on this for? Galactic? They’re incredible live. It’s not surprising they’ve developed this following. They transcend typical jam band cliches with their own brand of New Orleans music, often colored by wailing saxophones and bouncey clavichord progressions. Most notably, they were simply more skilled than the average big band. Galactic ripped through their set, shining the spotlight on each member for solos and playful musical moments.

And that quickly, I found myself back in the live music world. It was like riding a bike again once the show lights dimmed and Galactic took the stage. I couldn’t have been more happy to return with that crowd in an up-and-coming Lexington music venue.


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