Perpetual Groove | 12.31 | NC

Words & Images by: James E. Young

Perpetual Groove :: 12.31.07 :: Neighborhood Theatre :: Charlotte, NC

Perpetual Groove - Acoustic :: 12.31.07
For two nights Perpetual Groove and their fanatical fan base, lovingly known as "Perps," populated the Neighborhood Theatre on their New Year's run. While some folks went to Atlanta for Widespread or STS9 or to NYC for moe., Perps from all around the country flew, drove and hitched to rock out with their favorite band and get that annual New Year's fix. While not yet an arena filler, P-Groove's intimacy with their fans made this more of a party with friends and family as opposed to just another concert. Instead of hiding backstage, the band could be found drinking with the tapers or chatting with fans outside the venue long after the show had ended.

However, the smaller venue took nothing away from the production value. At my first PGroove show four years ago, the lighting rig instantly captured my attention and has since grown into a setup almost as valuable as the band itself. Lighting designer Jason Huffer deserves our praise for creating a visual counterpart that highlights the brand of electronic funk rock that Brock Butler, Matt McDonald, Adam Perry and Albert Suttle play so masterfully.

Brock Butler :: 12.31.07
In previous years, the band has played two set shows, saving the three set marathons for special gigs and their annual Amberland Festival. This year the audience was treated to an acoustic first set each night, which included blistering versions of "La Casa Bien" and the debut of Pink Floyd's "Mother," one of two new covers offered at these shows. Will Bradford of SeepeopleS joined them on NYE to sing lead on a remarkable version of U2's "Bullet the Blue Sky."

As the midnight hour approached, the band started a powerful "Mr. Transistor," and with only a few minutes to New Year's Day, the fire alarm rang out. At first the audience cheered thinking it was announcing the impending event, but as it continued without a countdown it seemed we might need to evacuate the building. The band never broke their stride. Should you decided to listen to the soundboard recordings at, you can hear the "Mr. Transistor" and in the middle the band played a "Fire Alarm Jam" while the staff scrambled.

With the fire alarm halted and anticipation growing, frontman Butler and keyboardist McDonald counted away 2007. The moment hit, lights flashed and tinsel flew everywhere as they broke into "Auld Lang Syne." Their lovely girlfriends brought out champagne for a few toasts, and then with minimal delay they ripped back into "Mr. Transistor," driving hard and telling us that with the New Year we can expect new and exciting things. They encored with fan favorite "Macumba," where Butler strung together a rap medley and stirred up a frenzy that transformed us into something like schoolgirls at a Beatles show. Since one encore is never enough, they stayed on for an intense version of "Save For One," a song that debuted at last New Year's run and has matured into a powerful ballad.

Butler & Perry :: 12.31.07

Perpetual Groove :: 12.31.07 :: Neighborhood Theatre :: Charlotte, NC
Set I (acoustic): It Starts Where It Ends, Under Lock and Key, Thinkin' Those Thoughts, Long Past Settled In, Mother*
Set II: Sundog> Breeze, Crapshoot, Three Weeks, Bullet the Blue Sky**
Set III: Mr. Transistor> Auld Lang Syne> Mr. Transistor, All Night Long, TTFPJ, Teakwood Betz, A Day the Way, Speed Queen
Encore: Macumba, Save for One
*First time played, Matt on acoustic guitar
**First time played, with Will Bradford of Seepeoples on vocals

Continue reading for more images of Perpetual Groove on NYE... Images by: James E. Young

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Cheezefreek starstarstar Wed 1/16/2008 05:20PM
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i bet that was agood time....

MoeString Wed 1/16/2008 09:06PM
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The Neighborhood Theatre Kicks ass... Im glad they made some jambase coverage. i hope lynn reads this.

galenpg Wed 1/16/2008 09:22PM
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this was my first pgroove show after two years of loving them through my computer--- nothing but bliss all around. these guys are bringing frat stars, preppy highschoolers, vagabond jammers, and other seemingly easily stereotyped groups together via pure love and respect for good music as well as shared life experiences. the former joy is flared through their knack for creating gleefull riffs and their electronic prowess- both of which come together to deliver an undeniably good energy(which, of course, is augmented by the work of their light and sound crew), while the latter stems from their simple humanly ability to write lyrics that can grab anyone whos been through some rough shit and is still standing to rejoice about the fact that they are doing just that- standing and living. maybe they played an exceptionally good show on this night, and i don't doubt that there are some "i've been to 20 pgroove shows and some of them really sucked" people out there that will be tempted to jump all over me for this praise; but before you do that know that on new years they did their job not only as musicians but as human beings, and they did it seamlessly.

LESHISLOVE starstarstarstarstar Wed 1/16/2008 10:16PM
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Sick Ass Sickness!!! Can I get a what what?!?!?!

beadiamondsomday starstarstarstarstar Wed 1/16/2008 10:28PM
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did they take the rows or seats out of that please?? cool venue and the seats made are cool touch to its charector but it can suck when its full

tgratefulapple starstarstarstarstar Wed 1/16/2008 10:48PM
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this was a damn good show. one of the best p groove shows i have seen. hopefully they keep this new years, neighborhood tradition alive

RothburyWithCheese starstarstarstarstar Thu 1/17/2008 03:35AM
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I love these guys. Are they ever playing Austin again?

Triggin starstarstarstarstar Thu 1/17/2008 05:16AM
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great story, only wish i could of been there. it has been said these are the best shows to date. and they broke out the acoustic set which is a very rare spcecial treat, never been done before with the whole band. thanks for covering these guys.

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} starstarstarstarstar Thu 1/17/2008 05:55AM
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‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

I have witnessed about 4 perpetual snooze shows. My 5th show, they brought out the heat!! Now, I just want them to do that more often, when I am lucky enough to be present :)

Emo starstarstarstarstar Thu 1/17/2008 09:52AM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Yes, The neighborhood made the entire middle row of seats portable so they can increase capacity to hopefully 1200. They can also replace the seats for the more intimate shows. After 5 years there is finally a liquor bar as well. Yay for the best venue in North Carolina.

kminator starstarstarstarstar Thu 1/17/2008 01:47PM
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Nice work James! Keep it up!

melargin starstarstarstarstar Thu 1/17/2008 05:34PM
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awesome pictures and great review! hope to see you doing more articles soon

Stubob1212 starstarstar Thu 1/17/2008 10:31PM
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Great show though I wish the article was a little longer. Could someone please tell me all the hip-hop songs that the band played in the hip-hop encore medley. I think its called Macumba. I remember 99 Problems, the Petey Pablo NC song, I wanna Talk to Samson, and Wu-Tang but I cant remember the rest. Any help would be appreciated

vollostcom starstarstarstarstar Sun 1/20/2008 04:01PM
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what a great two nites, and brock gave me and my new fiance a congradulations right before encore, which was killer, i love these guys, these four may actually be GOD

Amygirl starstarstarstarstar Wed 1/23/2008 07:05AM
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AHHHH. James you're awesome... thanks for the amazing pictures- wish I coulda been right there- Do more articles JAMES!!

Thanks for the continuing heat P Groove.

CaptColorado starstarstarstar Fri 1/25/2008 07:45AM
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Gonna see them for the first time in Amsterdam! Of course it would be nice if they did decide to play Austin.

phishspread-aholic starstarstarstarstar Fri 1/25/2008 08:14AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


this show was just amazing. the lights with the fast melodies made my body buzz like a bumble bee. it was insane! pgroove please make this an annual tradition in the neighborhood!!!!!