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Published: 2012/01/01

Matt McDonald Officially Rejoins Perpetual Groove, Amberland Confirmed

New (and old) keyboardist Matt McDonald

Perpetual Groove returned to Atlanta, GA’s Center Stage last night. As previously reported, the show marked the official transition between keyboardists John Hruby and Matt McDonald. Since announcing his return to the band earlier this fall, McDonald—who played in the band until 2008—has sat in with Perpetual Groove a handful of times. Hruby opened last night’s New Year’s Eve show as the band’s solo keyboardist before McDonald replaced him on “Luthien & Beren.” The musicians then shared keyboard duties on a set-closing “Robot Waltz.”

In a recent Relix/Jambands.com interview, McDonald mentioned that he plans to play some guitar upon his return to the band, and the multi-instrumentalist did just that at the start of Perpetual Groove’s second set. With Hruby on keyboards, McDonald and guitarist Brock Butler charged into a first time cover of Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up,” which included the members of Under the Porch and female members of the PGroove family onstage. The festivities continued a few songs later as Butler and Hruby showed off their rap skills on a version of “Macumba” that featured both keyboardists. Later in the set, Butler brought things to a close with a solo rendition of “National Anthem.”

Both Hruby and McDonald returned to the stage for the group’s two-song encore, which consisted of “Sweet Oblivious Antidote” and a fitting take on LCD Soundsystem’s “All My Friends.”

Perpetual Groove will perform at Asheville, NC’s Asheville Music Hall on January 5. The group has also confirmed that its annual Amberland festival will take place from May 25-28, 2012. The sixth annual event will be held at Layafette, GA’s Cherokee Farms.

Here’s a look at last night’s setlist via Perpetual Groove’s message board

I. Occam’s Blazer (*), Holy Ship (*), Luthien & Beren(**), Robot Waltz(***)

II. Wake Up (*^), At The Screen (*), Macumba (***^^), Cairo (^^^), Mr. Transistor (*)> National Anthem

E: Sweet Oblivious Antidote (***%), All My Friends (%%)

(*) John Hruby on keys
(**) Matt McDonald on keys
(***) John Hruby & Matt McDonald on keys
(^) Arcade Fire Cover with Under the Porch & The Ladies of Perpetual Groove with Matt McDonald on guitar, 1st Time Played
(^^) With Brock Butler Rap, With John Hruby Throwdown Rap
(^^^) With The Cave Tease (Mumford & Sons)
(%) w/ Gary Paulo on Sax
(%%) LCD Soundsystem

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