Live at Red Rocks review by John Butler Trio

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  • Released: Jul 20, 2011
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 8.3 (6 votes)
John Butler Trio: Live at Red Rocks

Sound — 10
JBT claim this to be their biggest headlining gig yet, how true that is I don't know nor really care. One of the biggest factors with this CD/DVD for me IS the sound. I loved the under-produced sound of "Sunrise Over Sea" yet was not too fussed with the production on "April Uprising." The first 9 songs from "April Rising" are played and sound even better live. The sound is immaculate, all instruments are clear as can be. When I close my eyes and listen my brain would be tricked into thinking I was there as it was happening the quality is that good. "Ocean" IS played, however I think the 2012 live studio version sounds much better I find, nevertheless this CD/DVD's version is still good. John admits that the song will never be complete. Solos are plenty as John Butler proves once again he is a very accomplished player. He uses a lot of effects and accessories to aid him such as Wah Pedals and a Slide. The solo's sound a lot better live than on any CD they have released too. When I've had others listening while I was listening, the solo to "Treat Yo Mama" has been called weird because of how unusual it sounds, but I like it myself and find it quite hypnotizing! The thing with JBT is that its very hard to simplify their sound, they hold quite some variety and are not afraid to be experimental.

Lyrics — 10
In the trio for this live concert is John, Nicky Bomba (drums) and Byron Luiters (bass). The second line-up I believe. The Trio play exceptionally well together, and with both Nicky and Byron giving backing vocals to John quite often, the harmonies are perfect. One of my favourite moments is at the climax of Betterman where all three are singing at the top of their lungs almost to the point of screaming. This live version is so much better than any other recording I've heard. John is joined by his wife (Mama Kin) for a duet of "Losing You," one of the more intimate songs they share. For some this would be corny I fear, other than that they both nail it. John can sing and at times it comes close to rapping which he does very well.

Overall Impression — 10
On whole this CD/DVD is a 10/10, a quality live album from a band that are quality live. I like how it features many songs from "April Uprising" and also songs like "Used to Get High" and "Funky Tonight" which are not on "Sunrise Over Sea" and I otherwise would be missing out on hearing often. There is a point during "Good Excuse" where Byron and Nicky have their solos which to be honest I skip if I'm not alone because it goes on for quite a long time and in general I am not a fan of crowd fills on CD's. For John Butler Trio fans this is a must own!

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