The date was March 8th, 2018. I got the opportunity to witness the John Butler trio live and in person at the Ulumbarra Theatre in Bendigo. A year and a half later I get that same opportunity, however, it would be John Butler’s sole presence that would command the stage this time around.
Would his presence alone stand up to the presence he had with the trio? Yes, absolutely!
It is no easy task to perform by yourself, let alone in front of a packed out thousand seat capacity theatre as part of the Bendigo Blues & Roots Music Festival program. Thankfully, John had his vast array of musical instruments surrounding him on stage and keeping him company. He would, throughout the night, utilize every single one of those instruments with expertise, knowledge and wisdom. You can see that wisdom as he interacts and entertains between songs.
One of the most impressive moments of the night was between one of the last few songs, John mentioned he didn’t want to do an encore for at this point of the show it was kind of pointless. For whatever reason this garnered a new level of respect and admiration personally, maybe it’s because every show I have attended has had an encore, maybe not. But it was something different, something beautiful.
I cannot recommend it enough for all to go see Mr. Butler, whether it be solo or with the trio. Butler brings the raw and the real, an experience not to miss out on.
Reviewed by Alex Lynch
Photos by Miguel Rios