Flashback: Friday, Aug. 31, 2007. Groovatron, the biggest name of the still-young semester to grace Canopy Club’s stage, was awaited hungrily by fans impressed but still insatiable after The Fuz’ Floyd-heavy set. When the house lights went down, signaling the end of intermission, the crowd roared and raced toward the stage, seemingly in unison.
Is this ringing any bells? Well, if not, you have a great opportunity to redeem yourself for not being able to scrounge up that $7 for the door. These Hammond, Ind. natives are bringing their unique blend of schizophrenic jam funk back to Canopy Club on Friday, Nov. 30 for only 5 bucks!
“We always want to allow everyone to come out,” guitarist Nick Ferrer said, in an interview with buzz. “The difference between a $5 show and a $10 show is huge, especially for college students. It’s great to get people out who only know us by the name, and then hopefully they tell their friends and start a big chain reaction.”
It is evident that Groovatron has an active plan to continue to develop their fan base, which formed after it all started a few years at Summer Camp Music Festival in Chillicothe, IL.
“Summer Camp is the best to play at. It gives us a chance to be really wild,” he said. “Last year, we played a day set and a night set. At the night set, we all painted ourselves black, and at the day set, we all wore white from head to toe. It’s great to have random themes beyond the music – it really brings out the theatrics of our performances.”
The band’s sound, generally described by their name, is more than just meaningless jamming. Elements of jazz, funk, blues, rock, bluegrass, and electronica are melded and intertwined to create an erratic, unpredictable soundscape. All the while, the tight groove lives on, thanks to a solid rhythm section and familiarity among band members.
“It’s almost second nature to us, by now, to approach an idea and manipulate it into multiple personalities,” Ferrer explained. “It’s more problematic to have a set map for a song rather than going with the flow. We’ve been together for a while now; we can sense what the other member is going to do ahead of time.”
Perennial jam band favorites, such as String Cheese Incident and Umphrey’s McGee, have taken notice of Groovatron, with certain members appearing live as guest musicians. Ferrer recounted the time Michael Travis, percussionist for SCI, appeared on stage with Groovatron to play bass – instead of drums!
“They did these dueling bass solos for at least five minutes, and the crowd was going nuts!” Ferrer said. “It was interesting for me to see Travis on bass, which isn’t his primary instrument, and it must have been a bit humbling for him.”
Groovatron is a six-piece band, and while they can really shake the rafters, according to Ferrer, it’s not always all about turning it up to eleven.
“The great thing of having six members in the band is that you can sound so big and powerful, but you must be careful not to overuse that power,” he said.
He went on to mention that they write all of their songs collectively, and anyone can belt out a vocal line if he feels inclined.
With all of the theatrics and spontaneity inherent in a Groovatron show, there’s no shortage of crazy anecdotes.
“We were playing this dead bar up in Wisconsin Dells. It was dead because the next bar over was having a hot body contest,” Ferrer recalled. “I guess one of the girls got kicked out of the contest and stumbled over. She’s the only one in the place besides the bartender and us. She gets up on stage, dancing up a storm. Next thing we know, the clothes start coming off, and we got quite a show. Turned out the bartender paid her to do it, but on a night like that, I don’t blame him.”
Anything might happen at their show, but one thing’s for sure — don’t count on a burlesque dance.

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