Perpetual Groove and Turbine played at the Bowery Ballroom on March 26, 2010. Turbine was slated to play the Sullivan Hall after party with DJ Nutritious but got tapped to open for the band at Bowery. Unfortunately, we didn’t make the show in time to see the opening band but our coats were checked and we were in the venue minutes before Perpetual Groove went on.
Brock Butler, lead guitar and vocals, has been a favorite of mine for a few years but nothing hit home the way it did when I was privileged enough to enjoy a very intimate show on the Pool Deck of Jam Cruise 8 at 6am as we pulled into the Cayman Islands. He was accompanied by a passenger, Elli Labar, on violin. I can’t describe this moment on the ship, as it was beyond emotional and beyond words at that point in time. But I can show it to you. Enjoy!!
Perhaps I should talk about the show??? Oh, ok, FINE!!! First, let me just state how much I like the band’s name. Perpetual Groove. How fun is that?! Apparently there are some haters when it comes to the name of the band but personally it just MAKES me want to dance! It says flat out: we are hear to rage your face!!
PGroove came out raging as they always do beginning with No Decorations, off their latest CD Heal. It only took to the end of this song for me to have to leave the front of the stage due to all the tweaking under age kids that I wanted to kick in the teeth. Don’t get me started…..
As much as I love Brock, the keyboardist, John Hruby, had my attention most of the night. I am unsure how to describe the way he plays. It is not so much how he plays the instruments but how he moves and smiles and interacts with the crowd AS he plays the instruments. For me, my major point in seeing a live show is being able to actually SEE the artists that I love play their respective instruments. That is huge for me. I like to feel their pain when they sing, watch their fingers when they strum their guitar, watch their feet as they tap to the beat. John was engaging, loud and vibrant in his actions. He gets lost in his playing the same way we close our eyes when a song over takes us. I don’t even think he could help it. And if he can, he sure fooled me.
Set I: No Decorations> The March of Gibbles Army> Speed Queen, A Day the Way, At the Screen, The Golden Path
PGroove is as well known for their ability to cover songs as they are for their own material. With a musical encyclopedia for a brain, Brock Butler can pretty much play anything you ask him to on the spot from rap to rock to reggae. When PGroove headed into Aha’s Take on Me, I immediately turned to my girlfriend and started jumping up and down as John started in on the lyrics. I pictured the video and imagined the entire venue was in black and white and we were all running like mad men down the cartoon hallways. Yall remember that video? At that moment, EVERYONE, regardless if they knew any other song that night, knew that song and we all sang along. Take on Me elevated the energy in the Bowery to its highest point of the night!!! (Enjoy 90% of the song in the following video hahaha!!!)
While playing Mr. Transistor, we got our second cover as they broke into R.L. Burnside’s It’s Bad You Know and returned to finish off Mr. Transistor.
Set II: Mr. Transistor> It’s Bad You Know> Mr Transistor, Cairo, Take on Me, Robot Waltz, Up Again
After PGroove walked off the stage, we all knew not to move and eventually they slowly joined the stage again for the encore. We were handed an intense version of Life, from the album the album All This Everything, which flowed into Stealy Man. Walking out of the venue after the show, I said goodnight to fellow jam cruisers, friends and the like. I took one more glance toward the stage and Frobee Brobee stared at me from the bass amp. The smile on his face mirrored my own. It was a good show! Thank you PGroove! Hope to see you all again soon!