Amberland | 05.22-05.24 | GA

Saturday :: 05.23.09

John Hruby - PG :: Amberland 2009
Rain was in the forecast, but no one seemed to notice. The stage had been set the night before and smiling faces approached the gathering area in anticipation of what PGroove had in store for them. Had they tried they never would have guessed. Amberland has been known in the past to host chill day shows with the mind blowing taking place during the late night sets. While the bill remained close to form, PGroove came to get down early and fast. The set took us through the beautiful opening "Tu Sevun" and we all knew that "now things were better, 'cause we didn't have to wonder if tomorrow's gonna hurt or what we'll have to face." With this, the anthem of the weekend had been set as we strolled into the grandness that is Perpetual Groove, with everything from fan favorite Talking Heads cover "Naïve Melody" to an absolutely stellar rendition of "Crocket and Tubbs," where Perry's bass was showcased to a (personally) previously unseen extent. Later in the evening, Perry commented that he "is playing it a little higher" and shrugged that "it had just been a good weekend" for him.

Saturday night brought '80s Night, the first of two theme nights. From Ghostbusters to Jazzercise, one things Perps are known for is their campiness and willingness to get in the spirit, just as the band is. For a second, it appeared that Robert Palmer had arrived to take things over with his "Addicted to Love" gals but thankfully it was just more spirit shining though. PGroove began by again showcasing their new album in its entirety, which saw them play three of the album's tracks, "Honeycut, ""40 Roses" and "Up Again," for the first time. As Hruby walked off the stage, he pronounced his gladness to "finally be able to play those songs!"

As noted earlier, the theme nights are not only for the fans, evidenced by Butler proudly sporting a bandana that would make Mark Knopfler proud as the second late set began with Big Audio Dynamite's "The Globe." Then, Hruby took us back to the days of Jefferson Starship as he mockingly donned a big, blonde wig in homage to The Outfield's John Spinks as PGroove's "Free Ride to the Show" segued into "Your Love" and left everyone from the back of the field to the actual stage not knowing whether to scratch their head or just cave and writhe in gut busting laughter. I did both.

Damien Perry w/ PG :: Amberland 2009
The night was not all eighties, however. There were familiar Groove sounds with a continually progressing, funk infused and key driven "Three Weeks," the first appearance of the now Amberland staple. Then, bassist Perry's brother and Red Giant frontman Damien Perry blistered the stage as only he can with a brilliant rendition of PGroove's "Mayday." Nearing the end of the set, Butler had somehow stumbled upon a black wig that possibly could have belonged to one of the Jazzercise gals and informed us, as only "The Reverend" can, that he was about to give us "some fucking truth," as he whimsically took us through "Walking In Place." The band tried their best to wrap the set with a "Mr. Transistor" that teased and eventually segued into Starship's "We Built This City," but they would not allow themselves to stop playing and returned after a cigarette break for the actual set closer, "Sundog."

However, the night was not over. After a couple of equipment moves, the band again took the stage in the second tent, where they proved once again that they are a band who loves to experiment with the new as they did a late night silent headphone jam where again the crowd danced and grooved into the wee hours of the morning in trance and glowing rhythm.

Continue reading for Sunday coverage of Amberland...

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