Guavatron at Jerry Garcia Birthday Bash at Guanabanas 07.31.22

Guanabanas Island Restaurant and Bar hosted the 7th annual Jerry Garcia Birthday Bash on Sunday, July 31. The outstanding lineup included two excellent Grateful Dead tribute bands — veterans Unlimited Devotion and the Heavy Pets-laden Funking Grateful, Talking Heads tribute Road to Nowhere, veteran jamsters Souljam, the bluegrass stylings of Low Ground, and, to start the day, the amazing looper Victoria Cardona.

In the penultimate slot were Guavatron, the West Palm Beach jamtronic masters. They delivered a monster set. Once again, we are living vicariously through Kevin Mellinger, who recorded the show on LR5 on mixlr.

The boys launch into the set, only coming up for air an hour later for a quick breath. It opens with two tracks that are back to back on new album Momentous. They rock hard through “Things I Forget,” Adonis Guava’s guitar shredding with abandon. The shift to “Awake” is abrupt, as the pleasant instrumental bounces along, directed by Casey Luden on drums. As the jam gets deeper and deeper, guitar and Roddy Hansen’s keyboards and synths dance along. Conor Crookham is dropping bass bombs throughout, and Adonis is simply stunning here. 

14 minutes into the jam, they head into “Space” for three lovely moments. Finally, only the synths speak before “Rubin & Cherise” appears, their homage to Jerry on this birthday bash occasion. It is a fine reading of the song from Jerry’s 1978 album Cats Under the Stars. Adonis recreates that Jerry guitar sound so very well.

They morph the jam into one of the band’s signature tracks, the spacey “Get It On,” which shifts tempos again and again, for the entirety of the 27-minute jam. Crookham has a nice feature ten minutes in. Later, Hansen on organ features prominently in the propulsive jam, Luden again keeping perfect time. The ideas are flowing freely, and the crowd is clearly right along for the ride. The intensity continues to build, Luden lashing away before Adonis returns with the final vocal chorus. Amazing!

Guavatron fans can discuss fervently about their favorite songs, but “Cousin Kelly” has to be in the top three, right? They picked that one to close out their tremendous set, a 20-minute romp. Six minutes into the jam, they hit a groove they’ve honing for some time. It often reminds of the jam from “China Cat Sunflower” to “I Know You Rider” that the Dead perfected. It is always nice to hear Guavatron channel this groove but even more so at the Birthday Bash. Like “Get It On,” the jam continues to crescendo, with everybody crushing.

A note about the these last seven shows, beginning with the double-header at Dunedin Brewery. Adonis has been in particularly fine voice on lead vocal, and Luden always matches up with him perfectly. They have really upped their game. 


Click here for the LR5 recording on mixlr courtesy of Kevin Mellinger!



0:00:00  sound check
0:01:15  Things I Forget >
0:09:58  Awake >
0:26:52  Rubin & Cherise >
0:33:59  Get It On
1:01:44  banter
1:03:10  Cousin Kelly
1:23:10  end



09/16  Pineapples | Melbourne FL  ** w/ Firewater Tent Revival  

09/17  The Funky Biscuit | Boca Raton FL  ** w/ The Reality

10/02  Rock’n Riverwalk | Stuart FL

10/27-30  TBA | FL

12/11  North Beach Music Festival | Miami FL





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