Guavatron in Asheville: “A Proper Guava Banger”

I write about Guavatron early and often. And, to my ears, with good reason. These boys explode every time they hit the stage. I was lucky enough to catch them both nights at Dunedin Brewery (read reviews here: July 15 & July 16).

From there, I have been living vicariously through Kevin Mellinger, another great fan who has been on the road with the West Palm Beach quartet, slinging merch and providing much-needed support. We have already posted a review of the show July 20 in Jupiter based on his mixlr recording, and we will be posting the July 22 show with Brock Butler in Savannah shortly.

Which brings us to Saturday, July 23, in Asheville, at The One Stop at Asheville Music Hall. Mellinger wrote:

This show was the one I have been waiting for. A proper Guava banger in a dingy shit hole room. A room that looks like it would sound awful but sounded beautiful. It really does. I could not believe they way they had the sound dialed in!

Having listened to this entire outstanding YouTube recording courtesy of Iam AVL, his assessment is absolutely spot-on.

Set one opens with the introduction to “Xilla.” When they break to say hello, you just know that “Xilla” will reappear. A very jazzy feel opens “Get It On,” which feels laid back — right up until the point when the jam ignites. They morph into “Ray Gun,” hit some reggae-ish grooves, and crush through with clavinet blazing before a short return to “Get I On.” The vocals from Adonis Guava (guitar) and Casey Luden (drums) are, as Mellinger notes, dialed in indeed!

The next segment begins with “Disco Shades” (and, yes, Adonis has got ’em on), which slams into “Gustavo,” with “Funky Town” hanging out in the deep jam. Set break.

As Adonis notes, “The Gang’s All Here” is an older tune they dusted off; glad they did! Roddy Hansen’s synths here and throughout the entire set are killer. The prog rock romp “GRIT” features a fine piano section and some awesome synths sounds reminiscent of The New Deal. Conor Crookham’s space bass is everywhere; he and Luden make a muscle car of an engine for this juggernaut. And Adonis is a guitarist of stunning ability.

There is a brilliant take on the ridiculously funk “Cousin Kelly” (perhaps my favorite version of my favorite Guavatron song). Then they launch into “Spring Roll,” at five minutes probably the shortest version ever, as “Spring Roll” gives why to the massive jam of “Xilla” (yep, there it is!), and after 17 minutes that morphs back into “Ray Gun” to wrap up “a proper Guava banger.”

Sounds like Asheville will see Guavatron again!!!

[07.23: ONE: Xilla intro, Get It On > Ray Gun > Get It On, Disco Shades > Gustavo > Funky Town > Gustavo; TWO: The Gang’s All Here, GRIT, Cousin Kelly, Spring Roll > Xilla > Ray Gun]



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