John Butler Trio Rocks 9:30 Club

On May 23, Washington, D.C., fans packed a sold-out 9:30 club to witness the hypnotic guitar stylings and soulful grooves of the Australian band John Butler Trio.

The band is currently on tour in support of their fourth studio album, "Grand National." And even though their last album, "Sunrise Over Sea," sold five times platinum and was the year's fifth-highest selling album in Australia, all their success has yet to go to their heads. During the show, Butler repeatedly and warmly thanked the crowd for coming out and wished everyone “peace, love and respect.”

The show featured a mix of new songs and old favorites including "Treat Your Mama," "Zebra," "Good Excuse," "Used to Get High," and "Better Than." During "Peaches and Cream" at the encore, the crowd sang along and continued acapella at the end, singing “all I know is, all I know is, I love you, yeah I, love you…”

The show also included a riveting, lengthy rendition of "Ocean" showcasing Butler’s unique instrumental style that flows through textured guitar melodies and assorted tempos. Whether he was jamming on his 12-string acoustic, vintage slide guitar or banjo, Butler played most of the show sitting down, and just let the music speak for itself.

Still, when it comes to politics, Butler is known to be outspoken. At one point, he asked the crowd, “Who here wants peace in Iraq?” Not every hand went up at first, and you could sense hesitation from those who support the war. But then Butler asked the crowd again and there were a lot more cheers and a peaceful vibe.

All in all, John Butler Trio is one of those bands that you have to experience live. When you do, you’re guaranteed to leave in good spirits with a smile on your face.

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