Tour Tales

Perpetual Groove’s Emotional Farewell To Culture Room

Perpetual Groove’s Emotional Farewell To Culture Room

Over the past decade and a half, Perpetual Groove’s relentless touring has established an extremely passionate, tight-knit fanbase. Rooted out of Georgia, PGroove’s regular two-night runs at the Culture Room in Ft. Lauderdale helped cultivate the familial bonds for their fans in the South. Due to the band’s upcoming hiatus, March 1 and 2, 2013 may have been the final PGroove performances at the Culture Room, a venue that has become the foursome’s South Florida residence and second home. Needless to say, last weekend was bittersweet, filled with celebration and tears.

Over the past decade and a half, Perpetual Groove’s relentless touring has established an extremely passionate, tight-knit fanbase. Rooted out of Georgia, PGroove’s regular two-night runs at the Culture Room in Ft. Lauderdale helped cultivate the familial bonds for their fans in the South. Due to the band’s upcoming hiatus, March 1 and 2, 2013 may have been the final PGroove performances at the Culture Room, a venue that has become the foursome’s South Florida residence and second home. Needless to say, last weekend was bittersweet, filled with celebration and tears.

South Florida locals, the Heavy Pets kicked off the monumental weekend in solid fashion, providing some lighthearted dancey tunes to lift the crowd’s spirits on Friday, March 1.  After warming up with some Heavy Petting and a few tasty brews, it soon became time for the night to truly commence. The moment the music began, the audience seemed to block out all conversations and lock in with the band. 

Drummer Albert Suttle’s rejuvenating rhythms carried each groove, as his bandmates rode his rhythms to melodic bliss. Each note played was teeming with emotion. The passion exalted from the music evoked an energy so powerful, many fans danced with their hands over their hearts, with an almost religious love for the band – believers in the “Church of PGroove,” if you will.

The second set began with a fantastic rendition of “Two Shores.” As the band repeated the lyrics, “But the water’s so nice,” and segued into the instrumental sequences, they eased in line with each other, in a way not witnessed in the first set.  Their communication flowed over the course of the night, but was flawless during “Two Shores.”

During the entire show, guitarist Brock Butler was very solid, but did not stand out especially until the final leg. There were various moments throughout the night that keyboardist Matt McDonald utilized his mad science lab to concoct melodic potions that dazzled the crowd. His keys seemed to be shot with precise accuracy, as each note pierced deeper than the last. Bassist Adam Perry helped Suttle establish the pillars to carry the perpetual grooves, but Suttle’s drums reigned supreme for the night; he never missed a beat.

The crowd was full of love on Friday, and everyone was just happy to see some of their favorite musicians on stage together for one of the last times. The night-one encore was a fairly short – an extremely heavy cover of Rage Against the Machine’s “Sleep Now In The Fire” which featured an axeless Butler embracing the crowd multiple times as McDonald subbed in, rocking out dirty riffs on guitar. Overall, the first night one was filled with some fantastic musical moments and sensational jamming. Although the energy was powerful all night, it was clear that on Saturday, the band would truly unleash the beast. The weekend would follow PGroove’s established trend of their Culture Room romps – night one would consist of building the house, and on night two they would burn it down to the ground.

As the second and final night of the run commenced, Zoogma kicked things off in raging fashion. The up-and-coming livetronic band was an amped opener, and seemed to compile a laundry list of genres into one set. Beginning with instrumental funk, and climaxing with chest-shaking bass jams was a fantastic example of how many genres are incorporated into the quartet’s complex sound. Their most notable musical moments included the premiere performance of a new, untitled track which featured some of their funkiest beats to-date, as well as the curation of an explosive dance party during the rabid “M10,” a hip-hop-meets-synth destruction masterpiece featuring samples from Three Six Mafia’s ’05 baller track “Stay Fly.”

When PGroove hit the stage on Saturday, the four artists swiftly regenerated the entrancing energy from the previous night. Although it was expected, their popular hit “It Starts Where It Ends” was one of the most emotional songs of the run. Many fans view it as somewhat of an anthem for the band, and its lyrics provide a truly humbling message. Much like at AURA just a few weeks a go, the song may have had more fans in tears than any other moment of the weekend, and many were forced to wipe them aside in order to sing along with the powerful lyrics.

The musical high of the fist set came immediately after ISWIE, when the band graced the venue with a delicious serving of “Green Tea.” This tasty jam sandwich featured a rim-rattling rendition of “Green Tea,” which segued into “Stealy Man,” circling back into “Green Tea,” as Butler teased the lyrics of Simian’s “We Are You Friends,” as if reaching out to the fans, conveying the heartfelt lyrics as a reassuring message to the band’s loyal supporters. The words where slow and drawn out, requiring listeners to really absorb the significance. As he repeated the lyrics, fans lovingly joined in, and the crowd sang passionately, “We are your friends/ You’ll never be alone again/ Come on,” before the music faded out.

Night two featured more emphasis on Butler, as he played with more purpose than the previous night. The lights also illuminated him more, accenting his undeniable connection with the music while in the spotlight. With so much emotion permeating from the tunes, the lighting sequences perfectly reflected the band’s sentiments, while complementing the jams.

Beloved by many, the opening notes to “Robot Waltz” seemed to trigger one of the biggest audience responses of the weekend. McDonald used his elaborate setup to feature his marquee squishy-sounding space funk, prompting the night to escalate into an interstellar dance party.

As the band savored their last moments of the set, the sea roared – some cheered out of love, others out of sadness and pain, but everyone united to applaud, as each founding father took his monumental steps off stage. The two-song encore featured a brilliant “Teakwood Betz” into “The Universe” and then “Everything,” complete with phenomenal drum and bass beats from Suttle. During the encore, Butler and Suttle were more in-sync with each other than any other time during the weekend.

An afterthought: The band had truly built a house and burned it down for the last time at Culture Room, the sadness was visible all around as the last chords struck and echoed into the dark, intimate venue. Determined to go out on top, the band thoroughly rose to the occasion providing the best farewell shows any fan could have asked for. The PGroove South Florida family lingered around following the finale, hugging band members, snapping pictures and toasting in the green room. It was one for the memory books that won’t soon be forgotten.

Relive the first night magic courtesy of CHeeSeHeaDPRoDuCTIoNS on YouTube.

Photos by Melodysiac © 2013

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victor

March 8th, 2013

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