Review: Perpetual Groove @ the Bowery

As the show went on, the Bowery continued to fill up as did the energy the band was giving off from the stage. Over the course of PGroove’s two sets they touched upon material from each of their studio albums and threw in a couple of covers for good measure. There were numerous extended jams and it seems the group is focusing more on the rock and melodic side of improvisation rather than the jamtronica of their earlier days. If you listened to Heal and 2007’s LiveLoveDie, you could hear these elements make their way into the band’s songwriting, but now it’s translated to the improv as well.

Butler has found a terrific foil in new(ish) keyboardist John Hruby. Hruby, who enthusiastically emphasizes every note he plays which seems to charge up both the audience and his band mates, hooked up with Brock on a number of melodic interludes throughout the evening. Of particular note were some interesting passages in the hyper-active Robot Waltz that was the highlight of set number two. The steady rhythm section of Adam Perry (bass) and Albert Suttle (drums) held things together all night, letting Butler and Hruby double up on the leads.

Speaking of the second set, Hruby led the band on a fun cover of Aha’s Take On Me that brought the energy in the packed venue to a boil. The evening’s other cover came in the form of It’s Bad You Know, a R.L. Burnside tune that PGroove weaved into the middle of their own Mr. Transistor. As the clock struck midnight, and the band left the stage for a quick encore break, it was clear that not many attendees had left. PGroove didn’t disappoint those who stuck around by delivering  a fierce Life > Stealy Man one-two punch to end the evening on a high note.

2009 was a year of major transition for Perpetual Groove as they became more comfortable with Hruby. 2010 has found the quartet locked in and delivering “heaters” on a more consistent basis. Here’s hoping they can keep the positive momentum going throughout the year and onwards. PGroove returns to the stage on April 8 at Hampden-Sydney College in Hampden-Sydney, VA.

Perpetual Groove
March 26, 2010
Bowery Ballroom
New York, NY

Set One: No Decorations> March of Gibbles Army> Speed Queen, A Day The Way, At The Screen, The Golden Path

Set Two: Mr Transistor >  It’s Bad You Know > Mr Transistor, Cairo, Take On Me, Robot Waltz, Up Again

Encore: Life > Stealy Man

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11 Responses

  1. sorry to say, I saw them open for moe. a few weeks ago…not impressed at all. I don’t get the hub-bub-bub about this band.

  2. Nice to see the review Scotty! Thanks
    p.s. avacado – give em another shot sometime when they are not opening and not starting at 8pm with a hard stop at 9.

  3. they can put on really scorching hot shows, then also really generic rock shows. it totally depends. but when they are on it’s rock and roll at its pinnacle. hope to see more of pgroove in the big apple, we need it.

  4. the name perpetual groove reeks of douchebaggery….too many good bands from Athens to even give this band any press

  5. Ive seen PGroove about 3 times now and I am from the NYC area and I must say PGroove rocks hard. I have yet to leave a venue after Perpetual Groove disapointed and I have seen them in a festival setting as well. Keep rockin guys =]

  6. people who use terms like ‘douchebaggery’ are people who don’t listen to music. They just bitch and complain, wear tight jeans, and try really, really hard to look like they are not trying.

  7. One of the best runs I’ve ever witnessed. The two shows leading into NYC, were Albany NY and Foxboro MA. Both of which kicked serious ass. PGroove is on fireeee.

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