Guavatron + MiniM + Dunedin Brewery = A Jammin’ Good Time!

Guavatron brought their West Palm grooves to Dunedin Brewery for two nights of magic, with new St. Petersburg darlings MiniM opening for them at the show Friday, July 15. The place was wall-to-wall dancing, head-nodding, and grooving all night.

Why do I refer to MiniM as new St. Petersburg darlings? Because they are. They burst onto the jam scene this past January and really upped the ante with a great set at Orange Blossom Jamboree in May. This show at Dunedin truly cemented their place in the Florida jam pantheon. Because what these boys do is jam. 

MiniM – 07.15.22. 📷: Funk Eye Media

MiniM has lots of great cover tunes in their repertoire, but, except for the closing “2001” jam, every tune Friday was an original, and all of them were stretched out to the 10+ minute range, deservedly so. MiniM are: David Rakower, keyboards, vocals; Ross Borgias, guitar, lead vocals; Michael Hibler, guitar; Billy Sanders, drums; and Hunter Richey, bass.

MiniM – 07.15.22. 📷: Funk Eye Media

Borgias showed off his lead guitar skills immediately on “Away.” By the time we got to “Concrete,” each of the musical voices was clearly emerging. Richey’s bass was very impressive, and he and Sanders made for a dynamic rhythm section. Rakower’s keyboards gave him the ability to play electric piano, organ, clavinet, synths, and more, and his hands danced over the keys.

Richey was pumping out space bass, as he did on “Layered Mirrors” to match Rakower’s clavinet. “What” featured a fine synths solo. The individual songs aside (and they were great), it was the overall feel of the set that truly impressed. This is what a jam band is supposed to sound like!

Billy Sanders – MiniM – 07.15.22. 📷: Funk Eye Media

Rakower sang lead vocal on “Never Gonna Let You Fall,” a slower song with a story and lead guitar from Hibler. Eventually there was a kickass tempo change, and they rocked through a great “2001” variation to say good night. 

David Rakower – MiniM – 07.15.22. 📷: Funk Eye Media

Listen to Marc Foster’s upload of the audio on Archive.org!

[MINIM: Away, Concrete, Layered Mirrors, What, Something Special, Never Gonna Let You Fall > 2001]

 

 

After a short break to tear down and set up, Guavatron was ready to hit the stage. What did they have cooked up for night one of their residency? They collaborated with Dean C. Williams and Kevin Mellinger, the eternal supporter who was slinging merch with Erin, on something special. They created this triple-sandwich: “Ray Gun > Disco Shades > Voyager > Day Man > Voyager > Disco Shades > Ray Gun.” they had them scribbled on paper towels and paper plates.

 

Guavatron – 07.15.22. 📷: Funk Eye Media

The intent was to jam the hell out of all of those to make it last two hours. In actuality, this segment lasted 45 minutes. As Adonis Guava pointed out later, the music simply didn’t demand that much time.

Guavatron launched at 90 MPH with “Ray Gun,” which yielded 17 minutes later to “Disco Shades,” a tune from new album Momentous. That gave way to “Voyager” and eventually to the center for a brief vocal romp through “Day Man,” a tune often performed on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, before winding its way back out through “Voyager” and “Disco Shades” before climaxing with “Ray Gun.” DAYUM!

So, more than an hour left? What’s next? Answer: one of the best versions of “Turtle Dream” EVER, all 34 minutes of it! The changes were head-turning as they twisted us like pretzels. These gentlemen are masters of the jam, incorporating trance-dance, metal, funk, prog rock, and fusion into their nightly game plan.

Roddy Hansen – Guavatron – 07.15.22. 📷: Funk Eye Media

The traffic director is drummer Casey Luden, always driving the beat, adjusting the tempo, and rocking out, his smile giving the game away. He’s having a GREAT time! He often sings with Adonis Guava, himself a superb talent on guitar. Few bass players rock the low end like Conor Crookham does, especially with that space bass! And Roddy Hansen makes his two keyboards and accessories sound like an entire bank of instruments.

Casey Luden – Guavatron – 07.15.22. 📷: Funk Eye Media

More time left. Out came “Gustavo,” another fabulous jam after the head of the tune. They looked like they were done, but Luden said, “If you make more noise, maybe we’ll play one more.” 

[THIS IS RIDICULOUS. HOW ARE PEOPLE NOT STOMPING AND SCREAMING FOR AN ENCORE?]

Roddy Hansen, Conor Crookham & Casey Luden – Guavatron – 07.15.22. 📷: Funk Eye Media

One more? That would be “Gloopin’.” This is the song with the refrain “Jesus is my best friend.” Adonis explained, “This this song is dedicated to our friend named Derek who passed away; they called him Jesus.” The second half of the song turned into killer prog!

Adonis Guava – Guavatron – 07.15.22. 📷: Funk Eye Media

What a fabulous night!

Listen to Marc Foster’s upload of the audio on Archive.org.

[GUAVATRON: Ray Gun > Disco Shades > Voyager > Day Man > Voyager > Disco Shades > Ray Gun, Turtle Dream, Gustavo; E: Gloopin’]

 

 

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