Perpetual Groove’s Goodbye: Review of their Last Hurrah in Florida
In a small unsuspecting strip mall situated on U.S. 1 in Fort Lauderdale sits the Culture Room. In Florida’s balmy summer, this intimate venue must be overwhelmingly hot, but the first two days of March provide the perfect amount of relief to really enjoy the space. It is an amalgamation of balcony-bar, large viewing area, and a covered porch-like area that leads from the stage to a big outdoor courtyard, complete with colossal Mayan-inspired heads hanging over a Mayan-inspired bar.
I was excited to see how The Heavy Pets would fair in front of a hometown crowd. Somewhat lackadaisical and rocky, their set demonstrated that they have truly perfected their own unique style of jam-rock. This set did not disappoint, as the Heavy Pets laid down very solid versions of “3AM” and “Got To Know,” emblematic of that signature sound that thatthey’ve mastered. Most of the performance was high energy and consistent in musicianship; the Pets really seemed to be on point that evening. You could tell their hometown crowd was pleased with the set and their playing that evening, based on the positive attitude and crowd responses throughout the show. Their set included some fan favorites as well as some newer songs like “Got To Know” and “Last Babies” to round out the list.
Setlist: Travel, Help Me Help You, 3AM, Got To Know, John Galt, Spin Round, The Day the Sun Forgot to Rise, Bibbles, Last Babies
By the time Perpetual Groove took the stage, the sense of anticipation in the Culture Room was palpable. P Groove is known for its beautiful, lighthearted live ballads and studio albums, but also for its ability to throw down heavy rock and jamtronica-infused jams during late night shows, festival sets and whenever the mood happens to strike them really.
Night one was a mixed bag. The first set included a few slower songs flanked by some hard-hitting anthems. During the first set I particularly enjoyed “Orange Wedge” into “Out Here,” the segue being especially seamless. Overall, the night included a few bust outs as well as a good number of primarily instrumental songs.
Set 1: Life>Decepticon Structure>Orange Wedge>Out Here>Decepticon Structure>Gratitude>Man With All The Answers
Set 2: Two Shores>Cabulo Monstrosity>God Is Gonna Cut You Down>Cabulo Monstrosity, Cairo, Speed Queen
Encore: Sleep Now In The Fire
Night two at The Culture Room was a different animal altogether. Zoogma was opening and boy did they draw in their fans, who came out in full force. Just by looking around at the dress and demeanor of those in attendance, picking out the Zoogma fans was easy. By the end of the set, the Culture Room was packed with a bunch of younger and very animated fans.
I’ve seen Zoogma a good number of times in the past several months, this being my second time seeing them on the “All Access” tour alone, and this set was by far the best. Discounting festival performances, I’ve never had the chance to seeZoogma perform for a crowed who was so enthralled to see them. I guess that’s what happens when a southern band only plays in the Northeast. In front of a packed house, the boys from Mississippi took the stage and let it rip. In tune, in sync and on point, Zoogma played an interesting set to say the least. The first half was a bit more down tempo and jammy than I am accustomed to. It was good musically, of course, but perhaps an unexpected direction from a band I am used to getting nonstop high energy performances from. The second half of the set had that classic Zoogma sound and, at least to me, it was exactly what I expect from the band. I’ve said it before when reviewing their shows: Zoogma seems to have tastefully mastered the skill of providing a nonstop dance party without being overbearing or too in your face. They ended their set with a long version of “M10″ which exceeded my expectations in terms of execution.
Setlist: Ayers Rock>Classified>Thats the Way I Like it>Elevated>War Mirage>Landing Gear>Blocks>Everyday (Netsky)>Jerry Diesel>Decisive> M10
Perpetual Groove took the stage for their second night at the Culture Room and the last night they would play in Florida before their hiatus. The band’s long history in Florida was evident: just as Zoogma’s fans were easy to disperse, the P Groove diehards were ready to go.
Set 1: Mota>It Starts Where It Ends>Green Tea>Stealy Man>Green Tea
Set 2: Only Always. Robot Waltz, Escape>Mr. Transistor
Encore: Teakwood Betz>The Universe & Everything
For anyone in Florida not traveling with the band to their two last performances, you missed out– this was possibly the last chance to see Perpetual Groove play. Huddled up front and center were a group of older fans. Usually these guys would have been seen standing in the back of a venue, but on this night they were bumping young kids out of the way to get “their” spot up front. The setlist that night was something to write home about. Hit after hit with long extended jams, you didn’t have to be a P Groove fan to know that each song was amazing. It was obvious the fans equally approved of the song selection and the way the band was playing. The first set was a lot of fun, with“It Starts Where It Ends” being particularly memorable. The second set wowed me until the end; with only four songs in the whole set, P groove showed why they rock with some seriously extended jams. The encore was as exciting as it was long: a conservative estimate would put it at about 30 minutes. Their decision to end with “The Universe, and Everything” was perfect. Night one started with “Life,” the first part of this song, and ended with “The Universe, And Everything” to complete “Life, The Universe, and Everything,” fitting symbolism for this seminal show. The quality of the music on night two was, bar none, the best I have seen Perpetual Groove play, a fitting goodbye to their diehard Florida family.
Thanks P Groove to everything you have given this scene we hope to one day see you again.