Galactic has turned the weekend before Mardi Gras at their beloved, iconic venue Tipitina’s into an indoor, musical parade. New Orleans-area superstars Dumpstaphunk locked down Friday with support from Erica Falls, while Galactic took Saturday on themselves with Johnny Sketch & The Dirty Notes opening. Anders Osborne waited to take his on Sunday night with a Bacchus Bash to welcome the first hours of Lundi Gras. Then, as is tradition, Galactic will deliver a special super late night/early morning set Monday to celebrate Lundi Gras.

Friday, the opening night of this little weekend long party within a party within a yet larger party, kicked off with funk royalty, Ivan Neville‘s Dumpstaphunk. Ivan is all about respecting tradition, so he was, as always, ready to give his all to the spirit of Mardi Gras. As their leader went, so did the rest of the band. It was likely not even mentioned among them, but everyone on the stage knew you don’t claim to represent the city as Dumpsta so often does and bring anything less than your A game to a Mardi Gras party.

After Erica Falls played a short opening set that got the packed Tipitina’s crowd loose and ready to funk things up, Dumpstaphunk took the stage in full force. Dumpstaphunk was dialed in from the beginning of the set, which featured a bouncy “I Wish You Would” with now permanent horn players Alex Wasily on trombone and Ashlin Parker on trumpet really helping spread the sonic dynamics in new and freeing ways. This move gave bassist Nick Daniels more room for his unique, rubbery bottom tone to really shine. Drummer Deven Trusclair watched the two horn players rage against each other with the alertness needed to provide the pair of brass dynamos with the pocket they needed to launch their incendiary funk fireworks. All the while, proud papa Ivan Neville fanned huge swaths on the keys, and Ian Neville and Tony Hall settled into a funky rhythm and laid back in the cut as the two young bucks had an impressive, ebbing and flowing cracking heads session.

After a stellar opening, Neville started cashing in the good will the fiery opening had earned them to spark some serious “Get Down” in the primed crowd with a cracking, leading “Hey Pocky A-Way” before a Tony Hall-sung “No More Okey Doke” from The Meters. Dumpstaphunk followed this with a pair of their own tunes, “Where Do We Go From Here” and “Greatest Place On Earth”, in funk-tacular succession, which was pretty much all that was needed to get the crowd firmly in the palm of Dumpsta’s collective hands.

Watch a teaser of the show’s webcast below. For more livestreams via, head here.

Dumpstaphunk – ” I Wish You Would”, “Hey Pocky A-Way” (The Meters) –  2/17/23

From there, it was time for Ivan and the guys to bow their heads to the Indians with a pair of Wild Tchoupitoulas covers and a sweet run of “Make It All Happen”, “Dancin’ To The Truth”, and the Earl King classic “Fire and Brimstone”. Drummer Deven Trusclair provided a jaw-dropping solo that again showed the impact he and the horns have had on the band since their arrival. With veterans like Nick Daniels, Tony Hall, Ivan, and Ian, who you know will bring the reliably funky things they do consistently, night after night, all this youthful spirit seems to elevate everyone’s game. Adding a supply of wild new energy to the mix had Dumpstaphunk looking and sounding like world-beaters during a city-shaking, show-closing “Street Parade” that very nearly brought the house down.

Related: ‘Take Me To The River: New Orleans’ Documentary Gets Release Date Ahead Of Live Tour [Video]

After that wild closing number, an encore was certainly earned, and Dumpsta broke the crowd off one last solid chunk of funk, bringing it all back home to Mardi Gras and Professor Longhair‘s loving tribute to Indian culture, “Big Chief”. If Dumpstaphunk had left the stage any more wrecked, Tipitina’s owners Galactic might have had to hit the band with a hefty repair bill, but luckily Ivan Neville was able to keep some control of the monster band he’s built, but only barely.

Saturday night headliners and Tipitinas proprietors Galactic surely heard about the statement set Dumpstaphunk had laid down the night before and was not about to be shown up on their home court. Galactic also has a little fresh energy on their side with Anjelica “Jelly” Jones and trumpet player Eric Gordon both currently touring with the band. In fact, Jones was so comfortable on stage she chatted up the crowd with the ease of a seasoned professional, though it’s entirely possible she had joined in the city-wide festivities a smidge earlier than her stage call. Considering the Mardi Gras vibe permeating everything everywhere, it’s certainly merited.

Galactic – “Y’er Comes the Funky Man” (Bob French’s Storyville Jazz Band), “You Don’t Know” – 2/18/23

Working with fresh energy has become a regular staple of the Galactic tool kit since the band first lost its beloved frontfacing vocalist Theryl DeClouet in 2004 due to health issues before losing him completely, tragically, in 2016.  Since ’04, Galactic has welcomed numerous vocalists in to the mix, including the aforementioned current songstress Jones and even chart-topping solo talents like Macy Grey, while also bringing in the occasional fresh horn player just to thicken the band’s sound. The group even arrived at Tip’s with a special guest hidden up its sleeve, but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.

With home turf under their feet and many a year riling up Mardi Gras fans under their belt, Galactic is practically its own data hub for crowd analysis on subjects like pleasing a hot crowd, primed and ready to party, and the band adeptly put that knowledge to good use in writing the set list. With just the right mix of uptempo stand-outs like “Making It Better”‘ and “Out In The Street” to wind folks up before cresting with a huge swing at “Right On”, which they promptly sent sailing to the stratosphere, Galactic gave a group effort that was a wonder to behold.

After a quick cover of Eddie Harris and Les McCann‘s “Compared To What” that was jazzier than usual thanks to some impressive work from bassist Rob Mercurio and Ben Ellman taking over front and center and shredding on his sax, special guest Cimafunk stepped out of the wings for a first-time live crack at his recent studio collaboration with Galactic, “Ready For Me”. The well-received track saw the Afro-Cuban superstar rapping in his native tongue to Jelly’s sweet soul stylings in a wonderful blend of cultures and energy. The song is one of the highlights for Galactic’s recent EP, TCHOMPITOULAS, and it was a great way to crank the energy dial well past the breaking point.

Once again, there was an electricity in the air at Tip’s that fills the venue when a crowd and a band are perfectly in sync through the Professor Longhair-penned “Go To Mardi Gras” and a rip-roaring “Hey Na Na”. Galactic surfed that wave to the crest like the masters of funk they surely are. Drummer Stanton Moore took a solo during “Go To Mardi Gras” that proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that when it comes to all-time great funk drummers, his name should be one of the first mentioned and last argued. Even bassist Rob Mercurio, who is the other half of the band’s mighty rhythm section, seemed caught off guard by Moore’s syncopated fury. Mercurrio, his hand covering a huge grin, urged his bandmate to stretch the solo on yet further in sheer appreciation of the thunder he unleashed.

After Jelly gave one of the best live takes on the smoldering “Into the Deep” since Macy Grey’s original versions, Galactic closed the set with a “Never Called You Crazy” that the beleaguered and battered audience rose to savor, bringing the night’s festivities to a pitch-perfect conclusion. Encoring with the high-energy, old-school instrumental “Go Go” from the band’s first album, Galactic subsequently brought Anjelica back out for a final bit of her crowd hyping skills during the more modern “Dolla Diva”.

Galactic may have been done for the night, but the band certainly wasn’t done with the weekend. As pre-Mardi Gras parties wind down, it’s time for the all-night affair that is Galactic’s Tipitina’s Lundi Gras festivities featuring sets by special guests like Anders Osborne and a free 5 a.m. set. Such shenanigans shall have to wait for another review yet to come. The special broadcast of Galactic’s Lundi Gras set will be available to subscribers just like the rest of these incredible shows featured all weekend at Tipitina’s. Laissez le bon temps rouler, gentle readers… Let the good times roll indeed!

Setlist: Dumpstaphunk | Tipitinas | New Orleans, LA | 2/17/23

Set: I Wish You Would, Hey Pocky A-Way (The Meters), No More Okey Doke (The Meters), Where Do We Go From Here, Greatest Place On Earth, The OJays Instrumental cover, Meet de boys on the Battlefront (The Wild Tchoupitoulas), Hey Mama (The Wild Tchopitoulas), Make It After All, Dancin’ to the Truth, Fire and Brimstone (Earl King), Street Parade

Encore: Big Chief (Professor Longhair)

Setlist: Galactic | Tipitinas | New Orleans, LA | 2/18/23

Set: Y’er Comes the Funky Man (Bob French’s Storyville Jazz Band cover), You Don’t Know, Making It Better, Out in the Street, Go Down, Right On, Compared to What (Eddie Harris & Les McCann), Ready for Me (with Cimafunk) (Live Debut), Go to the Mardi Gras (Professor Longhair cover), Hey Na Na, Into the Deep, Never Called You Crazy

Encore: Go Go, Dolla Diva