John Butler Trio at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
John Butler Trio gives an incredible performance to the full house at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire. With electrifying solos and a variety of style and pace in each song, the roots and jam band entertains the audience well. Beginning with Cold Wind and playing a range of songs from all their albums, they play with ease and evident enjoyment, which completely comes across in the music. A full sound is achieved by the Australian trio: lead vocalist John Butler, bassist Byron Luiters and drummer Grant Gerathy.
Many of the pieces performed have a particular story and take the audience on a journey, with several different movements that build up in a crescendo before calming down again. Long instrumentals drive this, and the dramatic rise and fall is reflected and thoroughly enhanced by the fantastic lighting. With a good beat and rhythm, several pieces (such as Ragged Mile) have such energy that the audience is unable to refrain from dancing. A euphoric and uplifting atmosphere is palpable. Butler continues to involve the audience members by conversing with them in a familiar tone, explaining the inspiration for some of the songs.
Butler dedicates Ocean, one of their most well-known songs, to the audience. Although this solo piece has been played countless times before, it never sounds exactly the same. The beautiful intricacy of melodic sounds hypnotises the venue into complete stillness and silence. The performance is an emotional rollercoaster, and Butler’s playing gets more and more passionate as the song escalates, also moving the audience. Butler impresses, not only with this piece, but in every single song performed. During these solos, he lingers on phrases in the music and savours each note. He is entirely absorbed in the music, playing percussively and creating remarkable sounds on the guitar by slapping the strings and body.
All in all, the audience is completely blown away by the arresting performance the trio gives.
Photos: Erol Birsen
For further information about John Butler Trio and future events visit here.
Watch the studio version of Ocean here: