Perpetual Guava at Crazy Uncle Mike’s
Perpetual Guava, Brockatron, Guavabrock, Groovatron… what’s in a name?
No matter which one you choose, it means Brock Butler from Perpetual Groove with Guavatron. That right there was the reason that the show at Crazy Uncle Mike’s in Boca Raton (June 12) was packed to the gills. The plan was for Butler to play a solo set, followed by Guavatron, with the third set featuring the Perpetual Guava mashup.
A word or three about Crazy Uncle Mike’s before we get to the music. The room is long and narrow, with a bar running along one wall a considerable distance. The tables for seated patrons are from the GA section to the back of the room. Because of the physical limitations of the room, many toward the back could neither see the stage nor hear very well during Butler’s set or the Guavatron set. Butler’s set wasn’t loud enough. This is a party room, not a listening room, and for damn sure it was a party up front for Guavatron. The crowd thinned a bit before the collab set (mistake!), and the audio improved as well. Also, we should have known immediately that sitting next to the sound engineer was not a good idea. EVERYBODY needs to come hug, bump fists, and talk loudly with the sound engineer all night long. Lesson learned.
The food and beverages there were outstanding!
Butler had the unenviable task of opening the show solo acoustic, and he persevered in spite of the conditions. The first song was straight acoustic (or so it sounded), but for the second Butler showed out as an effective looper, setting up a very cool groove, trance-y and reverbed. He switched from guitar to lap steel, layering textures. The third song was a lovely instrumental duet with himself.
Butler played another acoustic song that got trance-y as he sang before closing with one that had the refrain “ Live love die.” That’s the title of the fourth PGroove album but not the name of a song on it.
The Guavatron crew hit the stage running with a very spacey intro that slid into a very Brock Butler-like vibe with “Things I Forget > dJam.” Within ten minutes, they had shifted into “Grit” and that deep trance-dance groove. Conor Crookham (bass) and Casey Luden (drums) simply crushed all night long. Roddy Hansen (keyboards) and Luden then steered the 50-minute jam into “Let’s Get It On” and back again into “Grit.” That was some monstrous prog, due in no small part to Adonis Guava on guitar and Crookham. Butler then came out for a mind-blowing take on “Hand That Feeds” (NIN) before taking a well-deserved breather.
[GUAVATRON: Intro > Things I Forget > dJam > Grit > Get It On > Grit, Hand That Feeds*]
The quintet returned to the stage and immediately shoved it into overdrive after a brief intro with “Awake,” which yielded to Teakwoodbetz,” a song from the first PGroove album. that whole sequence was scorching hot. They lit up fan favorite “Spring Roll” and morphed that into the great PGroove anthem “Sweet Oblivious Antidote” (also title of the first Perpetual Groove album).
For a truly magical surprise, they next knocked out covers of the first two tracks on Pink Floyd’s Animals: “Pigs On The Wing 1 > Dogs,” replete with dogs barking. That was magical. Hansen was in synth heaven, and together Butler and Adonis blew it up on guitars. They switched on the dance party again with “Xilla” and, after a brief pause, cranked it right back up with “Disco Shades.” Adonis sure had his on.
Back for an encore, they closed out the amazing night with “3 Weeks > Naive Melody.”
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you Perpetual Guava!
[PERPETUAL GUAVA: Intro > Awake > Teakwoodbetz, Spring Roll > Sweet Oblivious Antidote, Pigs On The Wing 1 > Dogs, Xilla, Disco Shades; E: 3 Weeks > Naive Melody]