A Review/Interview: Perpetual Groove (Syracuse)
The Night Prior To The Show:
I glanced down at my phone to see a text from "Brock Butler". I then called him to discuss happenings in Syracuse, as they had arrived in town a night early and were looking for something to do. I re-affirmed their decision on where to go; a bar/restaurant that had come recommended to me. We then discussed arrangements for the following night. He offered an invite to join them, but alas I had other plans. I was caught off guard by his friendly/openness.
The Day Of The Show:
Sometime mid afternoon Brock dropped me a text letting me know they were loading in at The Westcott. Again, I thought to myself; this cat has gone out of his way to accommodate me. I deal with a lot of musicians, and accommodations are one thing, but how down to earth Brock was, impressed me.
Perpetual Groove at The Westcott Theatre; Syracuse, NY 3.23.10
I arrived at The Wescott Theatre to find a parking spot right out front of the venue; a reminder that it was a Tuesday night in Syracuse. I have to again, say how much I appreciate The Westcott Theatre and what they are doing for the music scene in Upstate, NY. Upon entering the venue I was pleasantly surprised by the turn out. As the night progressed, more people filled in. I would have guessed there to have been about 200-250 people, leaving ample space in the 700 person capacity venue for hooping and grooving. I've said it before, and I'll say it again; What is the deal with hooping in an indoor venue? Please ladies, leave your hoops at home. Festivals are a different story...
As I staked a spot for a portion of the evening I met a gentleman named Robert, who is a business owner in the area as well as a P-Groove fan. I really enjoyed speaking with him about his exposure to the "jamband" scene. I also appreciated his sharing of P-Groove knowledge. Through-out the show Robert would lean over and inform me of the cd from which the song they were playing came from, also filling me in on when along the Perpetual Groove timeline a particular song may have come out. His insight was helpful in fully appreciating the show.
The first set was high energy. There were a lot of peaks and wailing. One thing that stuck out to me was the heavy synth. it was extremely prominent, and one of my favorite parts of the P-Groove sound. Another pleasant surprise was a light show that had me visually satisfied. The use of colors, patterns, and motion was very well done. I thought that the strobe backing lights, especially during the peaks were really well placed and helped create a raging atmosphere. Throughout the set Robert informed me that they were playing a steady mix of songs from their catalogue. P-Groove played a solid first set, then took a short break.
It was at this point the effects of a Tuesday night show started to weigh on the crowd, as people started checking their watches and slowly making their way towards the exit of the venue. As the night went on from this point, the crowd appeared to get younger and younger. The second set began with about ten girls hooping in the crowd. The second set picked up with the same vibe that the first set had left on the palate. As the set went on it became a total throw down, with the music paving the way for a dance party and light show that shouldn't be overlooked. The set ended with a double encore, leaving the patrons satisfied and sufficiently raged.
I thought the show was very good. I give it an 8 out of 10.
As the people made their way towards the front entrance Brock made his way off stage and through the crowd, stopping to talk to anyone that fancied conversation. Eventually, I exited the venue to find Brock out front, smoking a cigarette and seeing fans off.
After collecting some equipment from my vehicle I headed back in to do an interview with Brock. The load out process was under way as the Flaming Lips played over the PA. At that point I had a chance to talk to the gentleman in charge of booking for The Westcott, Dan. I thanked him for what he was doing and the effect it was having on the local scene. He was really appreciative and receptive. As well I met a young lady named Chelsea who was working with a Syracuse University film crew, documenting the evening.
I then made my way to the upstairs of the venue to offices/dressing room to conduct an interview with guitarist Brock Butler...