The John Butler Trio are currently on their Funky Tonight Tour throughout Australia from the 19th November until the 10th December.
On Sunday, the Empire Theatre in Toowoomba had the privilege of hosting the John Butler Trio once more. The allure of the John Butler Trio’s blues and roots music was in effect as nearly all of the 2400 seats were in use for the concert. The Empire is a grand old theatre, originally opened in 1911 and used primarily to show silent movies. Unfortunately, the theatre was destroyed by fire in 1933. For many years the Empire Theatre remained unused until it was refurbished and reopened in 1993 where it established itself as the premiere theatre for performing arts in the Darling Downs region.
I have now had the pleasure of listening to the John Butler Trio perform three times in person:
- December 3rd 2006, Funky Tonight Tour
- December 11th 2005, Homeward Bound Tour
- May 25th 2004, Sunrise Over Sea Tour
The first encounter with John Butler in 2004 was the most amazing live concert experience I had ever been involved with. The exceptional guitar skills of John and the beautiful timbre the band creates, solidified me as a John Butler Trio fan in the same concert. The outdoor concert held at the Brisbane Riverstage in 2005 was a spectacle to behold with thousands of fans soaking up the wonderful music and great atmosphere. After having such an excellent experience at the Empire Theatre in Toowoomba two years earlier, I was eager to hear the John Butler Trio perform there again and they didn’t disappoint. Its the true sign of a quality band when they deliver consistently high standard performances live; not all bands can do it – but the John Butler Trio certainly can.
Below are some (rather ordinary) photos snapped throughout the concert on a little Canon Ixus 400:
- Toward the start of the concert
- Band shot toward the start of the concert
- John somewhere in the middle of the concert
- John at the start of the encore
- John clapping & singing with the crowd after playing Peaches & Cream in the encore
- Band shot during the encore
I tell everyone about the John Butler Trio that cares to listen as I believe them to be one of the most unique bands that have come out of Australia. The guitar skills of John Butler will surpass everyone’s expectations, setting a new watermark for all other guitarists to strive for. With his unique style, you’ll walk away from the concert wondering how he manages to create the sounds, rhythms and where required incredible speed with his guitar. The John Butler Trio percussionist, Michael Barker, also brings a raft of wonderful sounds to the band. Due to the pace that a lot of the John Butler Trio music is played at, Michael would have to be the hardest working man on the stage; regularly wiping himself down after a song with a towel. In some of the fast songs, I don’t know how he keeps up; keeping different beats on either leg and his arms are going in every direction at once. Shannon Birchall on the bass is also great, the deep mellow sounds of the bass really add a special element to their music and when he busts out the solos, the audience really appreciates what they are hearing.
If you ever get the opportunity to get tickets to see the John Butler Trio, you really must treat yourself. The band really do deliver masterful performances which you’ll be sure to remember.