The Butterfly Effect, Thornhill & Caligulas Horse – Eaton’s Hill Brisbane 07/10/2022

Review/Pictures – Dan Maynard

I still find it hard to believe that the last time I saw The Butterfly Effect live was almost 10 years ago at the Coolangatta Hotel. To put it into perspective, I’ve changed careers, gotten married and had a kid in that time! Yet here I stand, inside one of Brisbanes most acclaimed live venues, amped as ever to see one of my all time favourite bands tour their newest album for the first time. And judging by the sold out merch and ecstatic fans, I’m not alone.

Gracing the stage first are Brisbanes very own prog veterans Caligulas Horse. What you need to know about Caligulas Horse, is you’d be hard pressed to find an Aussie four piece that can sound this massive. Not only is the band musically a tightly knit work of art, but vocalist Jim Grey has a depth and range that sonically pushes the band up further than what they already are. Using what time they have, they showcase an array of their last three albums, the crowd is clearly packed with fans and I’d be willing to say that anyone who was unaware of Caligula, they’ve walked away a fan.

Melbourne five piece Thornhill are in full swing as they hold the second slot tonight. Stepping onto the stage as the intro to Raw from their latest albumHeroine, with the crowd showing that they’re just as keen for the activities as Thornhill prove to be. Front man Jacob Charlton is an absolute spectacle to watch (and as a photographer tonight as well, a blast to shoot) as he throws himself around the stage, whipping the mic stand every which way while displaying his massive vocal range. The band sounds massive, and I know I say this after saying the exact same as Caligulas Horse, but damn do both bands just have the biggest sound live that I’ve heard in some time. The drop tuning grunt of the guitars tears the room apart, even as I sit outside to get some fresh air during one of the songs, it is still just as epic outside as it is inside.

The excitement grows across the venue and the room seems to pretty much hit mass capacity. This show couldn’t have been far from selling out. The chatter expands with enthusiasm as it becomes evident our main act is moments from hitting the stage. As the lights black out and the room hits near darkness, opening and title track to the latest album IV plays over the PA and already, the crowd is screaming bloody murder. By the time the Brisbane quartet walk onto the stage, the energy in the room is what feels like it’s peak, that all changes when the vocalist Clint Boge spends the next 50 seconds serenading the crowd with the opening moments of Dark Light and the band drives fall speed into the song and that’s it, from here on out, the crowd is a pack of wild fans showing the band exactly how loved they truly are.

The setlist is perfectly curated, giving the crowd a taste of all four albums, Dark Light, Window and the Watcher, A Slow Descent and Always….an incredible opening to an incredible set. I move throughout the venue, capturing shots from every angle, moving upstairs to join patrons up the top to get some full crowd images and no matter where I stand, the sound mix is perfect. As a guitarist myself and a long time fan of The Butterfly Effect, I have always idolised guitarist Kurt Goedhart and his ear and knowledge for such a brilliant guitar tone, he never pushes the gain further than it needs to be and it always sits side by side with bassist Glenns clarity driven tone in a marriage made in heaven. I say this as it’s more evident than ever, the way the sound cuts through the room, with Clints vocals honestly sounding better than ever, richer and fuller than I’ve ever heard it. And drummer Ben, how that dude has managed to sound bigger than ever is beyond me.

Tonights set is almost a love note to the bands second album Imago, an album that seriously just ages like fine wine, with a solid portion of the set playing through tracks off the album that they haven’t played in forever. We get a solid four from the new album IVand a sprinkle of Begins Here and Final Conversation of Kings.  The set begins to close out with one of my new favourite songs, Visiting Hours. This song holds so much emotion to it, as it builds from a gorgeous start into this big epic thunderous ending. And it’s translated perfectly live as Boge sings his heart out. Ending with a crowd favourite Reach, I watch as the band closes up the night with smiles across their faces and sheer love for the crowd, which is given back from the crowd ten fold.

I’ve never lost my love for this band, with Begins Here being a staple in my early years as a guitarist, tonight seems to have just given me more fondness and devotion as I walk out, ears ringing, eyes wide and a smile across my face, this was frankly a tour that you didn’t want to miss. This album and tour is proof that there is a fuel and renewed energy in The Butterfly Effect and I couldn’t be happier being witness to it tonight. Now for the long ass drive home to the Gold Coast, worth every moment of it.

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