Perpetual Groove Teams With CBDB in Saratoga Springs

by Bryan Lasky

Posted: April 22, 2018


I was unsure what I was going to see at my first Perpetual Groove show. I didn’t know much of their music, but I knew that people have told me for a long time to just go see them. Well to all of those that told me to just go and enjoy, thank you, because I am a fan now.

The band came on stage, bathed in a red glowing light, and opened with a cover of Pearl Jam’s “Release” and absolutely nailed it. Guitarist/vocalist Brock Butler sang the song directly from his heart and the entire band followed the cover with a bliss-filled jam that soared over the crowd at Putnam Place. The quartet all of a sudden though took a left turn and explored a darker improvisational space as the crowd roared its approval. Brock steered the set all night but drummer Albert Suttle deserves a lot of credit for keeping it all together. He would key in on what the rest of the band was doing and at any moment he was able to move the jams right along beautifully.

“Breeze” let the band take the Saratoga fans on a funk-fueled journey before PGroove segued into “Detox Mansion” in what might have been my favorite moment of the night. The two songs are so different, yet the band melded them perfectly into one another and then back again. Bassist Adam Perry had a lot to do with that as he took charge of the transition. There was some great guitar work by Brock during the jam in “Detox Mansion.” From there, three of the five members of opener CBDB were invited to the stage for a fun cover. Their opening set was exploratory and a solid showing. CBDB have a heck of a lead guitarist in Kris Gottlieb and the band’s cover of Green Day’s “Brainstew/Jaded” was a fun way to close the set. Once the members of CBDB joined PGroove, the now seven-piece ensemble launched into KC & The Sunshine Band’s “Get Down Tonight.” Everyone was having a blast on stage and the jam was tremendous. They kept the upbeat feeling of the song through the entire segment and highlighted the members of CBDB.

We got a cool down from there with “Walking In Place,” which was a perfect breather before the intense “Speed Queen.” Things got weird during the song and jam and the band were clearly in a playful mood as Brock began to sing “In The Year 2000” ala Conan O’Brien and keyboardist Matt McDonald was teasing all sorts of songs including the Star Wars theme and brought the band into full-on “War Pigs” jam. Matt was also making some other spacey weird noises throughout the improv. It was pretty late at this point, but most of the crowd stayed in place as PGroove was completely locked in. I’m glad that this band is having a second go-around and are in amazing form. I get what the hype is now and I can’t wait to see them again.