Massive Night 2 Trance-Dance Fest with Guavatron at Dunedin Brewery
Guavatron threw down an astonishing set Friday, July 15, at Dunedin Brewery, along with new St. Petersburg jamsters MiniM. How would they follow that up on Saturday?
Answer: with two completely mind-blowing sets of jamtronica, fusion, trance-dance, prog rock, and a Talking Heads cover!
Importantly, this was the 26th anniversary of the local landmark, and this Guavatron performance was the perfect pairing for this auspicious event.
Set one opened with three tracks from the group’s album Momentous, released earlier this year. “Things I Forgot” get the night rolling before “Awake,” a tune that has been in the repertoire for some time. After that 15-minute gem, they played the familiar chords of “Spring Roll,” a song that has been in rotation for years. It was amazing.
Observers had noted that there was a synthesizer set up next to Roddy Hansen’s keyboards that looked suspiciously like Michael Lyn Bryant’s Korg Prologue. A dozen minutes into the heady “Spring Roll” jam, Bryant came up to twist some knobs and make things weird — in the very best way.
At some point, it became just drummer Casey Luden and bassist Conor Crookham playing with Bryant. Then Adonis Guava and Roddy Hansen grabbed drum sticks and attacked the cymbals and drums. Even sound engineer Chris Fama (who had the boys dialed in perfectly both nights) got in on the percussion orgy.
From there, the group fell into a cacophonous section before “Spring Roll” proper re-emerged, a magnificent 32-minute romp. To close the first set, they offered up a tight “Cousin Kelly.” As they reached the jam section after the incendiary beginning, Guavatron hit that very Dead-like groove they often achieve, with Adonis Guava’s guitar so reminiscent of Jerry Garcia’s, reminding of the transition from “China Cat Sunflower” to “I Know You Rider.” Just WOW.
Set two exploded instantly as they tore into the very metal tune “GRIT,” crammed with Conor Crookham’s space bass, prog rock, screaming metal and more. They took a breather after that 27-minute outing before kicking into another great song, “Get It On.” Hansen, already all over synths, electric piano, and organ, added clavinet to this one, which almost picked up a reggae lilt at times.
The Guavatron boys were on fire. They played killer funk (“Hot Sauce”), a short one to shut down the show (almost). But of course there was one more. This encore featured the only cover tune, Talking Heads’ “This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody).” After playing the head of the tune, with Hansen nailing that little synth part, the groove once again turned into a Dead-like jam, the perfect way to send us home happy, sated, and ready for the next show.
Mazel Tov to Dunedin Brewery for 26 years of great music, great beer, great food, great service, and great friendship. On to the next 26!
[GUAVATRON: SET 1: Things, Awake, Spring Roll, Cousin Kelly; SET 2: GRIT, Get It On, Hot Sauce; E: This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)]