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The John Butler Trio brought a little bit of North County to the downtown Abbey for a KPRI private listener's concert a day before their sold-out House of Blues show. The Australian rocker with roots in Encinitas played a little more than an hour in the converted church, opening the show solo with a cut from his latest "April Uprising," followed by a rousing version of his classic "Pickapart."

The now dread-less Butler was then joined by his bass player and drummer, who played possibly the world's smallest drum kit on the tiny altar/stage to perform a selection of songs mostly from the new album. With minimal amplification, the trio exploited the acoustic perfection of the intimate setting to the delight of the crowd, although it seemed a bit strange ordering up stiff drinks at the bars set up in the corners of the old church. Caught just the slightest whiff of weed, too, confined to the restroom, possibly in deference to the reverence of the location.

  • Concert: The John Butler Trio
  • Date: May 19
  • Venue: The Abbey
  • Seats: I roamed
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