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Non-Prog Concert Reviews

Groove Thief

Live in Portland, Oregon, May 2012

Review by Larry Toering

Groove Thief came from the state capital to rock Mill End's, but most had no idea who they were except for the loyal fans who followed them to the gig. But they were there to be exposed for all they're worth, and this is one band that delivers a very hard punch, yet backs it with a purely melodic sound to go with their ferocity. Their songs are full of everything it takes to rock the world, which is why it was worth it to catch this rare Portland performance. I was quite surprised by their arsenal of material and how they presented it, having no idea that bass player “Jarred Venti” also handles keyboard and mandolin duties. That alone was a treat, but not only does he do that, his bass playing is like that of a monster, with the Cry Baby effect being his main weapon accessory of choice. That proved to be a feature in their live act as well as on their current disc.

This band really know their stuff and then some, as Venti along with singer Blaine Vogt, guitarist Matthew Ryan and drummer Tim Sieroslawski bring a very pop rock structured sound to round out their alternative appeal and classic rock roots. This all makes for a sophisticated sound that maintains a smooth yet very sharp edge at the same time. The mandolin parts bring an almost folk element without going overboard in that department. Vogt also brought his guitar abilities with an acoustic showing of his own penned ballad, “The Wind,” which brings the show to a delightful peak.


Christopher Berry
 
Christopher Berry
   
I was in complete chills at that point as the excitement slowed down and he shone with his performance. This part of the show is not to be missed. After that there was no denying their killer quartet prowess. The entire house witnessed a stardom in the eyes of the band members that beamed throughout the room the rest of the night. Groove Thief delivered and they seemed to know it but ate it up with a slice of humble pie, as well. Every move they made was packed with a huge degree of  finesse and precision that is hard to find just anywhere in this area.

Christopher Berry
 
Christopher Berry
   
The thing is, they're an amazingly professional bunch of troopers with a lot of know how and wisdom to back their youthful act. This is another northwest band that I feel are ready for the world, and have the product to present themselves perfectly in order to do it. I was simply blown away. I mean, I knew they were good, but just how good I apparently had no idea before that night. They handled their show with the best of them, and Portland itself could use a few more acts like this one. They opened the show with a classic cover and ended with one as well, being the Beatles “Come Together.”  They put their own stamp on it and brought the entire crowd together in the process. What a show it was!

Christopher Berry
 
Christopher Berry
   
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.
You'll find concert pics of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
 
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