Perpetual Groove Fall Tour Closeout Run at Culture Room (Review, Listen, Watch, & Photos)

                     Perpetual Groove Fall Tour Closeout Run

Live Culture Room Fort Lauderdale, FL

Jonny Scoblionko

By Eytan Eilender • Videos & Audio by Adam at cheeseheadproductions • Photos by Jonny Scoblionko / ScoBeat Media

Perpetual Groove is sure in triumphant top form currently, as they closed out their most extensive tour in years with two rocking nights at the Culture Room.The first weekend in December has been a running tradition for Perpetual Groove to play an end of the year two night Culture Room run.  Due to a two year breakup, and scheduling differences, the band had not been able to play that familiar first weekend in December for many years.  Therefore, it was only fitting for them to place a major exclamation mark at the end of this mammoth Fall Tour, by finishing it out at the Culture Room December 2nd and 3rd 2016.

They opened things up very mellow with ‘Life’ as the first song. It’s a gorgeous instrumental tune, which is the first in the series of songs that is ‘Life’ ‘The Universe’ …and Everything’, which is an ode the novel ‘Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy’ by Douglas Adams.

The vibe continued to stay pretty mellow until ‘Stealy Man’ really opened things up big time.  The song departed from its melodic prettiness into deep, dark, and dirty territory.  Matt McDonald, the mad scientist on the keyboards, was infusing so many crazy sounds, and the band played with such patience until the jam exploded into rollicking bliss.  The crowd went nuts, and the band had officially ripped the room open, and set the weekend in motion.

After the madness of Stealy Man, the crowd needed a breather.  They played a ballad called ‘Best of Anything’ off of their new EP.  It is such a moving and powerful song with gorgeous lyrics.  The chorus of, “I know that there’s a life I’d like to live. The person I wish I could be. To be forgiving and quick to forget. To be nobody’s enemy” had people wiping the tears dripping down their face.  But the band did not let up for long, as they went into the heavy hitter ‘Three Weeks’.  This was easily another highlight of the set, and had everyone grooving as the song weaved in and out of its many different parts.  The jam really peaked with a fiery energy, and then they came back in and completed the song like any mature jam band would do.  A beautifully played ‘Perihelion’ closed out the first set, and the crowd was definitely broken in for the rest of the weekend.

Jonny Scoblionko

The 2nd set opened up with a gigantic ‘Occam’s Blazer’ that was well over 20 minutes. Then came ‘Golden Path’, a fan favorite cover of The Chemical Brothers that the band has played over their history. Next was one of the highlights of the night in ‘Bobblehead Funk’.  It opened up with what sounded just like ‘Where It’s At’ by Beck, and everyone was boogying down to the jazzy funk.  Jim Wuest, keyboardist for the Heavy Pets sat in and crushed it.  In the middle of the jam, they broke into teases of ‘Natural One’ by Folk Implosion, which is a random classic tune from the mid 90s. Everyone cheered and welcomed this unexpected bustout tease.

Brock went into full on ‘Rev’ mode on ‘Walking In Place’, as he thanked the crowd and mentioned how they always love to close out their end of the year tour at the Culture Room, and reminisced on all the magical times that have been shared between the band and fans in that room. It was a beautiful moment, and everyone belted out the chorus in unison.  The sandwich of Speed Queen->Glock Jam->Man With All The Answers->Speed Queen to close out the 2nd set was sheer madness.  It was just non-stop relentless energy.

 After that type of a show, we knew a solid encore was coming.  But, I don’t think anyone expected ‘Closer’ by Nine Inch Nails.  This set everyone loose in a dirty dance party.  Everyone was pretty much climbing on top of each other in primal fashion.  It was sexy to say the least, and a hell of a way to finish out the first night of the run.

Set I: Life > Save For One > 53 More Things To Do In Zero Gravity. Stealy Man. Best Of Anything. Three Weeks > Perihelion.
Set II: Occams Blazer. Golden Path (The Chemical Brothers). Bobblehead Funk*#. Walking In Place. Speed Queen > Glock Jam > Man With All The Answers > Speed Queen. E: Closer (NIN).

Band: Brock Butler (guitar, vocals), Adam Perry (bass, vocals), Matthew McDonald (keys, vocals), Albert Suttle (drums)
*w/ Jim Wuest of The Heavy Pets, #Natural One by The Folk Implosion tease

Jonny Scoblionko

Night two was also phenomenal.  The first set took time to get going, as they played a lot of newer songs in the repertoire, and there were still so many old school fan favorites yet to have been played.  It wasn’t until six songs in that ‘Two Shores’ really approached liftoff. The jam was dirty and it really opened things up. There was a psychedelic ‘Cairo’ to follow, before they closed out the first set with ‘Get Down Tonight’ by KC and the Sunshine Band.  This was by far one of the top highlights of the weekend. The disco funk nastiness that ensued was incredible. Jeff Lloyd, guitarist of the Heavy Pets, sat in with them on this jam, and he absolutely slayed it.  After a bit of a slow first set, this 20+ minute high energy jam left everyone’s jaws on the floor at setbreak.

Now, the second set was one of the hottest sets they have played in a bit.  Anytime they play a 5 song set, you know it is going to be one filled with fire jams. It opened up with a gorgeous new instrumental tune, called ‘Fall’, which is the opener on their new EP ‘Familiar Stare’.  It led into an enormous version of ‘TTFPJ’ that had everyone moving their feet in ways they didn’t know they could.  It was relentless, and kept building in energy until a major peak, before they went back into the song to complete it.  Then came another old school fan favorite in ‘Robot Waltz’, which was wonderfully welcomed.  From the beginning of ‘Robot Waltz’ to the end of ‘Sweet Oblivious Antidote’ the crowd experienced a shower of bliss. Then they closed out the 2nd set with a monster version of ‘Teakwood Betz’, that had everyone loose as a goose. The jam was epic, and a perfect way to finish out a rollicking set on the final night of the run.

Jonny Scoblionko

Of course, after two phenomenal nights at the Culture Room on this traditional first weekend in December, they weren’t going to play a skimpy encore.  The band treated us to a 4 song encore with beautiful full circle themes.  ‘Sundog’ opened the encore, and was a blistering instrumental hoedown. Then they completed ‘Only Always’ from the first song of the show, which was gorgeous. After that, they completed ‘Life’ from the first song of the first night, and continued to finish with ‘The Universe and Everything’.  It was a wonderful way to put a feeling of completion and satisfaction to the run.

Perpetual Groove is one of those bands that once they get into your heart, they will remain there forever.  They fill a space which radiates love and beauty. This band has been through a lot, but they keep on persevering over nearly two decades.  May they continue to shine a light for many years to come!

Set I: Only Always > Holy Ship. Andromeda. Paper Dolls. Lemurs. Two Shores. Cairo. Get Down Tonight*.
Set II: Fall > TTFPJ. Robot Waltz. Sweet Oblivious Antidote. Teakwood Betz. E: Sun Dog > Only Always > Life, The Universe and Everything.

Band: Brock Butler (guitar, vocals), Adam Perry (bass, vocals), Matthew McDonald (keys, vocals), Albert Suttle (drums)
*w/ Jeff Lloyd of The Heavy Pets

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