Reader Moonshadow’s First John Butler Trio Show

A big thank you to Moonshadow for posting a recap of her first John Butler Trio show. I love recaps, especially of JBT shows, so I thought I would bring it to the front. Enjoy. And thanks again, Moonshadow!

t&jam, I didn’t know the best spot to post my recap, so I landed here. I hope that’s okay.

I can be a bit long-winded. Here goes…..

My husband and I arrived at the concert a bit early. JBT’s website listed the concert as starting at 6:30, but the tickets said 7:00. We arrived at the amphitheatre at 6:00 just in case the latter time was the correct one. We passed the time by buying a t-shirt each. They had a really cool brown tour shirt, but were out of my size. I settled for the women’s blue t-shirt. A little FYI here – If you buy one of the blue shirts, buy one that is a size larger than you would normally wear. I usually wear a size 6-8 so I bought a medium. The shirt is way too small. Twenty five bucks for a shirt I can’t even wear. Would anyone like a JBT t-shirt? Next we went in search of food. Slim pickins. I had Nacho cheese and chips. The cheese sauce was fake (of course) and cold. I was extraordinarily hungry so I managed to choke it down with the aid of a watered down coca cola. MMmmm….good! Ha.

We then made our way down to our seats. Not too bad. Only 18 rows from the front. As the time reached 6:45 we assumed the show was to start at 7;00 just as the tickets read. 7:00 passed by…7:15…..7:30…..at 7:40-ish I smelled biodiesel. I’m guessing the band must have been held up by traffic. Who knows?! A few minutes after smelled the strong odor of biodiesel, the DJ from davefm came on stage to introduce the bands. He told the crowd thank you for coming to see G.Love and Special Sauce, which was followed by a cheer from the crowd. Then he said the opening act is the John Butler Trio, which was followed by a HUGE cheer from the crowd. The DJ threw his head back, laughed, and said “How did I know that was going to be the reaction?!”.

(I realize the above wasn’t necessay to the recap but remember I warned that I can be long-winded!)

Wow, wow, wow, the moment I’d been waiting for. Finally!

At 7:55 the trio casually walked on stage. They opened with “Company Sin”. (After “Company Sin”, I thought to myself (no joke)…..How does t&jam remember all of the songs, and the order of them, for her recaps? Shoot, she records the concerts! I should have brought a pen or pencil so I could jot the set list down! ) I can tell you all that the last song they played was “Funky Tonight”. Each and every song absolutely rocked. And it was one of the best concerts I have ever been to, if not the best.

The rest of the set list (in no particular order):

-Used To Get High
-Better Than
-Ocean……John Butler is a phenom on guitar. Absolutely amazing. t&jam, when you witnessed him playing this song could you feel the ocean? The swelling and subsiding of the tide, the waves? How he is able to capture the ocean, I don’t know. But he does. The word “amazing” doesn’t do him or the song justice.
-Gov Did Nothing….John, Shannon, and Michael captured the catastrophic event that was Katrina. The helicopters, the water, the anguish, the despair, the anger……the sounds came through their instruments and their voices.
-Zebra…One of my favorite JBT songs. We can be whatever we want to be. The choice is ours. Rock on John, rock on!
-Good Excuse….Halfway through this song, John yells “Turn off your Fox News, people!”. I love John Butler.
-Funky Tonight

I was so caught in the moment of the concert, I cannot remember if the solos were during Good Excuse or Funky Tonight. What I do remember is Shannon did an awesome job with his double bass solo. Michael on drums. The man is fierce.

I’m sorry my recap isn’t the best. All I can say is I would buy the same ill-fitting tshirt over and over again if it gained me more opportunities to see these guys play.

Finally, after their time on stage, they signed CD’s at a table by the merch stand. The concert-goers poured out of the seating area, up the stairs to the signing table. My husband and I decided to pass because we just weren’t up to standing in line with a bunch of quasi-sober twenty-somethings. About 15-20 minutes later, and bored out of our minds as we waited for GLove to take the stage, we headed to the merch stand to see if they were still signing. They were! Cool. I decided to buy a CD (Live At St. Gallen) to have signed. When we got in line we were about 50 people back. When the line was cut we were about 20 people back. I was so upset. I had just bought a $30 CD and I wasn’t going to be able to get it signed. Everyone around us looked every bit a dejected as I did, and they all starting leaving the line. Suddenly there were only 7 or 8 people in front of us. My husband kept saying to me, ” Go ahead, they’re still there signing. Go ahead!”. Stepping waay outside of my comfort zone, I was making my way up to the signing table as quickly as I could when John rose from his chair. At that point, the only person standing between me and John Butler was a 6 foot 3 inch security woman. Fortunately for me, I was good at side-stepping the 6′3″ security women. John was descending the stairs just as I reached him. I said “Excuse me” as I leaned toward him and put my right hand on the front of his left shoulder. He then turned, put his right hand on my left shoulder and tilted his head to within an inch of mine so he could hear what I was going to say.

This is what I WANTED to say :

“Thank you for “Gov Did Nothing”. Thank you for “Something’s Gotta Give”. Thank you for speaking truth to power. A dear, dear family member of mine was killed in Iraq. Thank you for “Fire In The Sky”. It has helped me through the grieving process. I have cried in despair, until I’ve had no more tears, when I’ve listened to this song. I’ve felt anger while listening to this song. I have felt hope while listening to this song. Thank you John, for the words and the music.”

This is what I DID say :

“Thank you for lyrics that actually say something”.

After I spoke, he leaned back, looked kind of suprised, and said, “You’re welcome”.

I turned to walk away and he continued down the stairs.

My husband asked me what I said to JB, and when I told my husband what I had said, I realized how foolish I must have sounded. All I can hope is that somehow, someway, John Butler was able to make sense of my words. I hope he knew my simple words were heartfelt and filled with gratitude.

During the course of the evening, I spent money on a shirt that does not fit, I didn’t get to hear “FITS”, and I bought a CD that I wasn’t able to get signed.

It was the best concert experience ever.

I experienced live music of The John Butler Trio. I was able to meet and thank one of my musical heroes.


6 Responses to “Reader Moonshadow’s First John Butler Trio Show”

  1. August 25, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    Again, thanks for the great recap, Moonshadow. One thing though…you didn’t say anything about G.Love and Special Sauce…any comments about them?

  2. 2 moonshadow
    August 25, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    Thanks, t&jam. I feel honored to have this spot on your blog!
    I noticed a few typos, one of them being ” just in case the latter time was the correct one”. Obviously, it should have read “in just in case the former time was the correct one”.

    I didn’t really notice G.Love’s first song because we were standing in line waiting to get JBT’s autograph. We ended up not going back to our original seats but instead opted for seats higher up with no other concert-goers close by. I hate to admit this….we left after a couple of songs. G.Love was very good and he plays the harmonica very well, but after JBT’s music….well, G.Love’s music didn’t move us. Looking back at the night, I think we were eager to leave because we wanted to discuss the music we had experienced courtesy of John, Shannon and Michael.

    (G.Love still received lots of love from the crowd. There were only a few of us who left early.)

    If it’s okay, I’d like to come back later on today and share my husband’s thoughts of the concert.

  3. 3 moonshadow
    August 26, 2008 at 9:16 am

    My husband…how could he ever doubt my musical tastes?! After the concert, as we were walking to our car, I asked him how he liked the concert. His response was “that was amazing”. He then told me that prior to the concert he thought they were a pop band. (Huh??!!) The reason being, he had heard only “Better Than” on the radio and he had only heard “Grand National” played on a little $35 CD player. I started laughing and told him, “Sweetheart, you can’t judge a band by what they sound like on a rinky-dink CD player!” He laughed with me.

    He enjoyed the music from the very first song. However, when John played “Ocean”, it really struck him that these guys are musicians in the truest sense of the word. He commented that they aren’t about “show”. I think his exact words were, ” These guys are about making great music. Not about “show”. That was great music.”. My dear, sweet husband then asked ….”Why don’t they play their music on the radio?”. “How did all of these people find out about them?”. Answer one – Because they’re an awesome band. Answer two – Word of mouth….I guess.

    Saturday my husband said he wishes we could go to another concert before the tour ends.

    Sunday my husband said he now understands the whole “Dead Head” thing.

    Today my husband wondered out loud if JBT might need some roadies, and how cool that would be.

    Tomorrow I expect him to sell all of our belongings and put our house on the market, and with the proceeds buy a VW van.

    Yes, he was blown-away by the music of The John Butler Trio.

  4. 4 Linda T
    August 26, 2008 at 9:49 pm

    Fantastic recap, moonshadow, I felt like I was there with you. I actually loved your descriptions of the tepid food and the ill-fitting T-shirts LOL.

    As for the concert itself, I’m insanely jealous that I wasn’t able to snag a ticket for his appearance here in Boston. It sounds as if you saw the performance of a lifetime. I think John’s source material on albums such as Grand National are phenomenal, but when you bring it into a live setting, it takes on such new meaning, energy, and power. I’m so glad you had a chance to talk to him after the show.

    So when do you buy the minibus? I have some peace sign decals you can borrow 😀

  5. 5 moonshadow
    August 27, 2008 at 5:57 am

    Linda, I’m glad you liked the recap. I honestly was at a loss for an accurate way to describe the concert, and you nailed it with this: ” I think John’s source material on albums such as Grand National are phenomenal, but when you bring it into a live setting, it takes on such new meaning, energy, and power.” Perfectly said, Linda. Thank you!

    If a bus pulls up in front of the house, I’ll definitely accept the peace sign decal. 🙂

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