New Orleans funk impresarios Galactic brought special guests including Lyrics Born to their Halloween homestand at Tipitina’s, New Orleans, Louisiana’s “House Of Funk.”

Few cities in America are thought to be as haunted as New Orleans, and the venue itself is surely possessed by the spirit of Henry Roeland Byrd, a.k.a. Professor Longhair. Galactic, featuring Rob Mercurio on bass alongside his rhythm section partner, legendary funk drummer Stanton Moore, sax maven Ben Ellman, guitarist Jeff Raines, organ player and keyboardist Richard Vogel, Shamarr Allen on trumpet, and current vocalist Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph, arrived to Tip’s in full “Man Of The Cloth” gear for a night of funk and horror.

Related: Barking Down The House: Dog Wins Costume Contest With David Byrne Big Suit [Photos/Video]

Kicking things off with one of the most haunting and memorable movie themes of all times, the instantly recognizable, though funkified, opening bars of Mike Oldfield‘s “Tubular Bells”, best known for its film association with The Exorcist. That film, by director and Academy Award winner William Friedkin from the terrifying book by William Peter Blatty, scarred a generation and perfectly set the stage for the fun to come.

Following it with an energetic cover of AC/DC‘s classic “Highway To Hell”, with vocalist Jelly Joseph dressed as the possessed Regan from Friedkin’s signature film, Galactic got the crowd in the mood for the tricks and treats to come. Thanks to the always reliable music streaming service you can check out the first few songs from Saturday’s performance in the clip below, then read on for the rest of the spooktacular details!

Galactic – “Tubular Bells”, “Highway To Hell” (AC/DC) – 10/28/23

Galactic reeled off some classics from the band’s own impressive songbook, including “Clap Your Hands”, “You Don’t Know”, and “Make It Better” before unwrapping the first treat of the evening, special guest Lyrics Born and his wife Joyo. The rapper, a frequent collaborator with Galactic, joined the band for a wild “Shake It Off”, which was followed by an off-the hook “Baker’s Dozen” with Ashlin Parker’s Trumpet Mafia. The stage itself groaned and moaned under the sheer weight of the jams but, as always, withstood the mighty funk being laid down on its legendary timbers. Ellman and Allen moved centerstage and along with their guests provided a wall of sound that threatened to blow the front row to smithereens!

Following that brassy mayhem, fans got the second funkified movie theme of the evening, the sparse but iconic soundtrack to John Carpenter‘s Halloween. The film not only gave us the mute but nigh unstoppable Michael Meyers but also introduced filmgoers to Carpenter’s skills at composing simple but impressive tunes for his own films. From there, the rest of the set was dominated by high-energy Galactic tunes like “Right On”, “Hey Na Na”, and “Higher and Higher” before the band concluded with an epic take on the Blind Willie Johnson-penned “Nobody’s Fault But Mine”.

The two encore tunes showcased the synergy of Galactic’s deep virtuosity on their respective instruments and the booming vocals of Jelly Joseph on Gene McDaniels‘ “Compared To What” and the incomparable Aretha Franklin‘s “Rock Steady”. With their music bags packed full of fun to digest at their leisure, the crowd hit the night streets of New Orleans slightly dazed and confused.

On paper, Halloween is really not much of a difference from most any evening in a city like New Orleans. Already known for their collective willingness to don costumes at the drop of a hat, giving away trinkets and treats, and proudly filling the streets with floats and decorations, it was fun to see Galactic go the extra mile to make the holiday special. After all, if anyone is expected to set the bar for how to come correct to All Hallows Eve it’s Nawlins. Galactic, in their role as the keepers of the living spirit of funk knows what-what and lived up to their unofficial title in fine style!

Setlist: Galactic | Tipitina’s | New Orleans, LA | 10/28/23

Set 1: Tubular Bells AKA Theme From “The Exorcist” (Mike Oldfeld), Highway to Hell (Jelly)(AC/DC), Clap Your Hands (Jelly), You Don’t Know (Jelly), Making it Better (Jelly), Shake it Off (Lyrics Born and Joy) , Bakers Dozen (trumpet mafia), Halloween Theme (John Carpenter), Right On (Jelly), Hey Na Na (Jelly), Crazyhorse Mongoose, Cineramascope, Higher and Higher (Jelly), Dolla Diva (Jelly), Nobody’s Fault But Mine (jelly)(Blind Willie Johnson)

Encore: Compared to What (Gene McDaniels), Rock Steady (Aretha Franklin)