John Butler Trio: Live at Red Rocks

In the “behind the scenes” portion of the John Butler Trio’s Live At Red Rocks DVD, John Butler and his band mates, bassist Byron Luiters and drummer/percussionist Nicky Bomba, talk at great length about the meaning of playing Colorado’s magnificent outdoor venue now as a headliner.  The excitement and energy shown in the footage taken from soundcheck and pre-show interview describe the greater trajectory that the John Butler Trio as a band has taken in the United States in the time that, especially, following the release of April Uprising.  Being surrounded by an indigenous spirituality, the band channels the energy and thrusts that “vortex” into the openness and audience throughout the entire show.       

Paying respect to the original landholders of the earth they were occupying, both past and present, the John Butler Trio invited a group of Native Americans to do a ritual dance on stage during the show opener, “Used To Get High,” giving the aura a greater tribal effect.  Views looking out from behind the band into the audience in the beginning and throughout the show capture the depth of the crowd set between the natural landscapes that Red Rocks provides.  The enormous canyon rocks that surround the venue itself add both a refined artistic and acoustic element, which is detailed by a wide range of camera angles and visual imagery.                

In discussing the vantage point from on stage looking out into the audience, Butler described how Red Rocks is metaphorically somewhat of a launch pad into the universe.  It’s as if that moment is the center of the ongoing revolution that Butler catapults himself as the leader behind, and the feeling is translated through everyone experiencing that musical connection.  The evening at Red Rocks captured the best of what the trio brings together as a unit as well as Butler’s solo instrumental performance which traces his musical lineage back to the streets of Western Australia.  As it has been the stem of JBT live shows, “Ocean” acted as a mellow break which allowed fans to connect with Butler’s instrumental side and reaffirm an immense appreciation for his guitar playing. 

A common thread that can be drawn from any JBT show is the universal connection between the John Butler Trio as a group of musicians and the audience who equally share a passion for the music that is present.  What John Butler brings to every performance is a sacred offering that is unique to the crowd and the energy of that special moment, and Live At Red Rocks is a direct snapshot of that point in time.    


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