Review by Billy Geary
It’s common knowledge that the past year or so hasn’t been the easiest for Brisbane alternative rock darlings The Butterfly Effect, with the band reported to have been close to breaking up on numerous occasions. However, seemingly, everything is back on track for the four-piece with a new album in the works and a tour to celebrate 10 years since the release of their debut EP. On Friday night, the 10 Years Tour rolled into Pier Live, Frankston; which is unfortunately not one of Melbourne’s brightest suburbs. The two burly gentlemen trying to pick a fight with the bouncers on the door only confirmed the suburbs representation. It does beg the question though, why The Butterfly Effects only two Melbourne shows were at least half an hour from the CBD.
Joining the Butters for the tour were fellow Queenslanders HELM, who are easily one of the better new bands in Australia at the moment. Unfortunately however, the quintet’s first few songs fell somewhat flat, which can probably be attributed to a less than responsive crowd and a pretty horrible sound mix. The band’s heavier take on classic ‘Great Southern Land’ managed to stir the room awake, piquing the interest of the more patriotically inclined portion of the room. From their, Helm really hit their stride with crushing renditions of ‘Soldier’ and ‘At The Water’s Edge’ going down particularly well. However, the band’s new single ‘Home’ garnered the biggest reception of the night, with the song’s more melodic touch clearly resonating with a fair amount of the crowd. Rounding out the set with an extended version of ‘Collapse,’ featuring a more than impressive drum solo from fill in skins man Troy Wright and finally a seething ‘Watch It Burn’ saw Helm finish on a great note. By the end of their set, Helm had most definitely won the crowd over, despite their icy reception.
Finally, when The Butterfly Effect bounded out on stage, tearing through ‘Black Lung’ and ‘Take It Away’ in quick succession, it looked and sounded as if their break had completely re-energised the band. As the band traversed chronologically through their back catalogue, playing cuts from all of their releases, the Frankston crowd were in the palm of front man Clint Boge’s hand. Crowd favourites such as ‘One Second of Insanity,’ ‘Reach’ and ‘Always’ went down well, with the band clearly playing it safe in terms of set choice. The newly trim figure of bassist Glenn Esmond and drummer Ben Hall were spot on all night, even with Boge throwing himself around like a man possessed. ‘Aisles of White’ and ‘Gone’ provided some of the bigger sing-a-longs of the night, with Boge yearning the crowd to sing at every possible moment. The Pier Live punters were keen to join in on every bit of it, too, with crowd surfers aplenty throughout the set, especially on heavier cuts such as ‘Perception Twin’ and ‘A Slow Descent.’
Despite the fact that the band were clearly having the most fun on tour they’d had in a long time and that the crowd were echoing that sentiment, something about their set wasn’t quite right. Perhaps it was an accumulation of things like a very, very stock standard set list, Clint’s vocals being really off or the same poor quality sound mix Helm experienced, but something about left a bad taste in my mouth. The Butterfly Effect are certainly great performers and were clearly giving their all, but as they finished up with the epic ‘Worlds on Fire’ it remained clear that the gig was a very off night, but for a reason I couldn’t quite put my finger on.
Friday night had all the makings of a great gig, however I left the venue feeling genuinely disappointed, perhaps even fearful that the band I had obsessed over for a good 3 years aren’t what they once were. Here’s hoping that when they return to Melbourne with a new set of songs, they’ll bring back The Butterfly Effect of old and that Friday night was just an off night.
Review by Billy Geary
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