Perpetually Groovin' into a New Year
Perpetual Groove started the new year in style with a special three-day performance schedule. The weekend began Thursday, December 29 night at Terminal West and continued through the December, 31 with the band celebrating New Year’s Eve with its fans. The Athens-based jam band began grooving together in 1997. Over the years, the band has developed a devoted and earnest following that stayed loyal through the band’s two year hiatus and showed them full support when they began touring again in 2015.
Quaildogs kicked off the night with indie-alt-country. The Atlanta band drew a decent crowd and I had to stand in line at will call with other shivering but excited patrons. Despite the surprisingly frigid night the house was close to full when Perpetual Groove took the stage. They started their set with “Life,” from their All Is Everything album then continued through the album in its entirety; playing it in order from start to finish. “All This Everything Pt. 1” followed by “...Pt. 2,” then “53 More Things to do in Zero Gravity,” which is a happy sounding, lighthearted number and “Andromeda.” The latter was obviously a crowd favorite with comforting and reassuring, feel good lyrics that had the audience singing and swaying along happily. “If it’s been with love, things that you’ve done, then you did all you could do. If it’s been with love, things that you’ve done, it can save you.”
This was followed by “Long Past Settled In,” a remorseful sounding song and “Crockett and Tubbs.” My personal favorite, this number highlights the guitar with more intricate picking patterns and accentuates the relationship between strings and keys as it travels between whimsical highs and slightly grungy lows.
They played through the rest of the album which was produced in 2004 and is conceptually based off of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. Notice the songs “Life,” “The Universe,” “And Everything,” the answer to which was the number 42 in the books. This influence can be seen throughout the album with references to zero gravity and drifting through space along with the otherworldly effect of synth effects and some slightly lonesome lyrics. “Sometimes it feels like the feeling should be grand, strong winds from every direction. Huge constructions only backed by sand, but that’s just on some days.”
Their encore songs were “Space Paranoids,” a particularly upbeat and celebratory sounding song off of their 2010 album Honey Cuts and a cover of “When the Levee Breaks” which featured Damien Perry on guitar. The whole show was definitely a crowd-pleaser. People swayed and bounced, smiling at each other and interacting as if most of them were already friends. They high-fived and sang with each other, sharing drinks and smiles until the balloons that had remained suspended over their heads all night dropped and they all welcomed the end of 2016.
Photos by Grace Kelly for Bullet Music.