John Butler performs live at Porter Theater
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Westmont’s very own solo artist, sophomore John Butler, performed with a debut band along with Westmont senior, Jenna Catalon, accompanied by vocalist Eli Scheer this past Saturday, Nov. 18 in Porter Theater. Typically, Porter is reserved for Westmont productions such as Phoenix Night, as well as Lit-Moon and Westmont theater plays. Rarely does a featured artist play a full show at Porter Theater.
Following the August release of his most recent EP The Happier Side, John Butler formed a live band — including drummer Travis Smelley, vocalist and guitarist Trey Lindsley, bassist Joe Barbosa, and keyboardist Jay Real — for the mostly unrelated Porter show project.
“[John’s music] is vibing out of this world. It’s just so smooth, fun to play,” drummer Travis commented in a recent interview. The organic “vibe” on stage drew mostly Westmont students in attendance to the accessible Saturday show as the band featured John’s newest music, open jams, and John Mayer covers fluid in diverse styles.
“Everything on this EP, I couldn’t do acoustically or get the same effect. Having the band is like a gift. [...] Every single time we play the music it’s always different,” John reflected before the show. Jay Real attributed the show’s natural flow to the experience of the group, “Because--as great a musician John as is--working with everybody else really adds to that dynamic, everybody’s experienced, everyone knows what they’re doing.”
The production would not have been complete without the mastery of lighting teched by Josh Martinez-Davis and sound by Jake Wells. Truly “perfectly unrehearsed,” as put by the band during soundcheck, the show encored with the audience grooving on their feet to a spontaneous send-off song.