Tag Archives: Matt McDonald

Album Review: PERPETUAL GROOVE RELEASES AN INCREDIBLE LIVE VERSION OF “SWEET OBLIVIOUS ANTIDOTE”!!

Last week I picked an okay album from a somewhat disappointing list of new releases, because there were more than ten albums on the list. This week, there were only nine suitable options, and I really didn’t believe I would truly enjoy any of those, so I picked a different album to review. This album came out a couple of weeks ago, but I didn’t hear about it until last week, so I missed out on the opportunity to give my opinion about the live version of 2003’s “Sweet Oblivious Antidote” from Georgia’s own, Perpetual Groove. On the first day of 2016, the quartet played their amazing studio album in its entirety, at The Terminal West in Atlanta, and released this spectacular show for all of us to get to experience. For those that aren’t familiar with Perpetual Groove, their sound is often described as jamband music, but that really doesn’t do justice to the eclectic blend that these four exceptional musicians have made their distinct sound. Since this is a complete live show, I will write my review more like I would after seeing a band live.

The new year began with an amazing omen for music fans at Terminal West. I am not sure if those in attendance were aware that Perpetual Groove was going to play their first album from beginning to end, but either way, they were in for a treat. The show started with the a dreamy but obvious intro, before going full bore into the beloved, “Three Weeks”. There was definitely something different about this song on that night, with some variations on the usual theme of this arena rocker, but the cathartic sing-a-long vibe was still ever-present. It was followed directly by the astronomically themed “Perihilion”, with moments of interplanetary jazz met by more aggressive prog-rock stylings. Another instrumental with a space concept, “Sundog” was both peaceful and playful, throughout.
“TSM2” got a warm reception before it had barely begun. Brock really shines lyrically and vocally on this infectious bubbly alt-rocker, which ended the first set.

The second set opened with the prog-rock machinations of the brooding “Teakwood Betz”. Drummer, Albert Suttle, really got some room to move during this nineteen minute instrumental. The foursome took the attendees for a glide during the dreamlike weightlessness of “Astro Monkey”, that has to be one of the band’s best instrumentals. Bursts of tension dot the landscape on the lighthearted “Robot Waltz”. The slow soulful groove of “Walking In Place” is complimented nicely by Brock’s guitar playing and the appearance by his alter ego, the reverend, who often makes appearances during this song, live, in order to add some levity, but on this night Brock was more serious, and seriously grateful. “Playground” is all the fun of a space hoedown and the edge of symphonic rock in one impressive tune. The last song on the album, is the title track, “Sweet Oblivious Antidote”, where the guys got to show off some harmonizing and concluded with a big beautiful ending. Though this is where the studio album finished, the band decided to give the live crowd a bonus with their fantastically passionate version of Talking Heads’ “Naive Melody”, to round out the night.

I really couldn’t be happier with the live version of Perpetual Groove’s “Sweet Oblivious Antidote”, unless I had been there myself. It shows off the basis for what was a top shelf studio album, but certainly lends the band the room to stretch out in their wheelhouse. It is hard to accurately describe the sound that Perpetual Groove has created, because in just one tune, they can traipse through a few genres, to see where they end up. The journey for ¬†Brock Butler, Matt McDonald, Adam Perry and Albert Suttle has not always been a certain one, but it has always been apparent that the music that these guys make, has had a deep impact on so many. I first saw Perpetual Groove almost ten years ago, and I have seen them in sold out venues, and others where there was hardly anyone there, but they always put on an outstanding performance. If you like Umphrey’s McGee, Moe., Lotus and alternative music of the 80’s and 90’s, then you might want to check-out Perpetual Groove. If you haven’t heard them before, check-out “Sweet Oblivious Antidote” live, and if you haven’t seen them before, they are playing four shows along the Front Range, just before Halloween, this year, so get your tickets now. That’s What I Know, So That’s What You Know!! Enjoy!!

HAPPY LISTENING!!!! ūüėČ

P. GROOVE ANNOUNCES TOUR DATES THROUGH THE FALL MONTHS!!!!

About a year ago, the Georgia-based jam quartet, Perpetual Groove got back together for the first time after a¬†two year hiatus. The band eased back into touring, by playing a two-night stand once a month, for most of the last year. ¬†They came to Denver at the beginning of December 2015 and kicked-ass for two nights at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom. They have just announced dates for an extensive fall tour, which will take them through the end of the year. Perpetual Groove’s tour includes four nights in Colorado, in October. They will hit the Fox Theatre in Boulder, on Wednesday, October 26, followed by Thursday night in Fort Collins at the Aggie Theatre. The tour concludes on October 28 + 29 in Denver, when Perpetual Groove plays at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom. The tickets for all four shows, go on sale next Friday, June 3.

                                      

For anyone who is not familiar with Perpetual Groove, the easiest way to describe their sound is to envision the sonic sounds of Dinosaur Jr., the psychedelia of Pink Floyd, the anthemic flavor of the 70’s, the grooviness of a tropical environment, the playfulness of the 80’s and the danceability of livetronica, caught in a musical tornado and landing firmly in the middle of an arena. On a personal note, I have seen these guys about a dozen times over the last nine years, and never cease to want to see them more. If you dig on Umphrey’s McGee, Moe. and Lotus, then you need to check them out. To further prove that a Perpetual Groove show is a sound investment for your ears, wallet and watch, I have added ¬†videos below. That’s What I Know, So That’s What You Know!! Enjoy!!

HAPPY LISTENING!!!! ūüėČ

PERPETUAL GROOVE LAYS DOWN A HURTIN’ ON SILENT SPACE IN DENVER LAST NIGHT!!

Last Night was the first night of two nights for Perpetual Groove at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom, here in Denver, and the band was up to its old tricks of blowing minds and plastering smiles on faces. After a short hiatus, that lasted a couple of years, the Georgia-based senseis of anthemic arena jam rock have come back to shake walls and floors, to tame¬†our savage beasts and leave us feeling a little better than the day before, of course that is not taking into account, the possible hang-overs that sometimes follow an incredible night.

Due to the insanity of the tradition, that is Denver’s Parade Of Lights, getting to the show took some waiting, some walking and a few wrong turns, but we arrived a little after ten. The opening act, The McLovins were near the end of their set and brought Perpetual Groove’s Brock Butler on-stage for a jam, and it sounded like a fantastic snippet of what was to come. The McLovins played a couple more songs and were pretty proficient musically, but lyrically and vocally, they weren’t grabbing me by the earlobe. Cervantes’ was pretty packed already, with some people going next door to the Otherside to catch more music between bands, and with Jerry Joseph & The Jackmormons playing, who could blame them.

Perpetual Groove went on at about eleven and the place was ripe with electricity, and some other things, too. It was pretty apparent with in about ten seconds, that they were going to open with a cover of Pearl Jam’s “Release”, which has only been played one other time and that was as the show opener in May, ¬†for the band’s first show since the hiatus. I won’t candy-coat the facts, which are that something was a little¬†off about the vocals on this cover, whether it was Brock’s voice or the sound-system, is unclear, but the playing itself was totally on. The original P-Groove number “Out Here”, was stuffed full of a fatty jam, and was followed by the crowd pleasing “TSM2” with its soul-shaking¬†steel guitar majesty. “53 More Things To Do At Zero Gravity” was space jamming at its finest, as Albert Suttle took to a short drum solo that slid into “Stealy Man” where Matt McDonald pounded the hell out of the keys, for an industrial-psychedelic, “long drive down a dark road” feel. McDonald makes it up to his keys with some gorgeous work on the Jamaican-barnyard¬†vibe of “Sun Dog”, which ended the first set in tremendous fashion.

Set two commenced with some grating submarine radar pings for “Cairo”, which took the ears through sonic sound scapes that snuck a massive jam into its middle. A sweet little intro teased at what would become an indescribable “Three Weeks”, containing a couple incredible improvisational moments. The crowd was bursting at the seams and belting out the lyrics for this P-Groove favorite.¬† The edgy funk-rock of “TTFPJ” kept the energy level up, before things went 90’s alternative with a tight rendition of Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So”. My wife and I ducked out at this time, but I was happy to see that the band paid tribute to Scott Weiland with Brock performing a solo acoustic version of “Big Empty” by the Stone Temple Pilots, as part of the encore.

Set I

Release > Out Here, TSM2, 53 More Things To Do At Zero Gravity, Stealy Man,  Sun Dog

Set II

Cairo, Three Weeks, TTFPJ, Say It Ain’t So, Playground, Two Shores

Encore

Big Empty*, It Starts Where It Ends

Though the first set began a little lack-luster vocally, there was never any question about the band’s musical prowess and they proved it over and over again, throughout the night. Some stand-outs would have to be “TSM2”, “Stealy Man”, “Sun Dog” and of course the impeccable “Three Weeks”, which seemed longer and stronger than most versions I have heard. This was a phenomenal show from a group of guys, who haven’t lost a step since the time-off. If you missed Perpetual Groove last night, never fear, you have another chance tonight at Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom, and I highly suggest you take the opportunity.¬†That’s What I Know, So That’s What You Know!! Enjoy!!

HAPPY LISTENING!!!! ūüėČ