The resilient, Atlanta-based band Groove Stain played a packed show in The Masquerade’s Purgatory room Friday night. The show began a southeastern tour with Maryland-based Pasadena. The band’s loyal and fun-loving fans danced all the way up to the edge of stage so that trombonist Sam Szpendyk had to watch carefully how he played to avoid hitting someone. The intense energy warmed Purgatory, and genuinely felt like a family reunion for the fans who have loved Groove Stain since the late ‘90s.
Full gallery at the bottom of the post.
Though fewer people caught Pasadena’s show, those who did enjoyed it fully. The working-class lyrical themes truly tap into a feeling that artists and musicians can identify with. The humbling experience of being a band on tour, united in a pursuit of passion for music, comes out clearly when looking at the sincere smiles on tired faces. Personal favorites of Pasadena included “Realize” and “Sweet Surrender,” but the song the boys closed with brought smiles to everyone’s faces. Singer Joe Harkum looked at bassist Aaron Hooper and said he wrote the song for him after being a friend and roommate for all these years. The song involved a conversation between both vocalists; it was called “Shut the Fuck Up” and really loosened the crowd up for an easy-going, tongue-in-cheek evening.
Also local to Atlanta, the artist Beauregard appeared as a guest of Groove Stain. I wasn’t surprised that I liked his brand of ska-crossed rock because it fit perfectly between the songs of Pasadena and Groove Stain. Favorites played by Groove Stain after opening with “Looking Sorta Down” included “The One” and the title-track off the 2012 release Out All Night.
Those who missed the show should make it a point to catch Groove Stain and Beauregard when back in Atlanta. Those in the Southeast should make it a point to catch this winter tour.