House of Blues – Chicago, IL
March 10, 2009
The Butch Walker that I know is the mastermind genius songwriter and producer behind the hits of Avril Lavigne, Pink, Lindsay Lohan, Fall Out Boy, The Academy Is…, The Cab, and countless other artists. I only have Walker’s latest album Sycamore Meadows, so I am honestly not very familiar with his previous work. That is, until I saw him live in concert last week. I naively expected his own music to sound similar to that of the artists he writes and produces for. However, I was sorely mistaken in that Butch Walker’s music does not sound anything like the hit songs Avril and Pink have on the radio airwaves.
The first time I saw Butch Walker was the last time he came through Chicago a year or two ago. Walker performed to a sold out crowd at the House of Blues while touring with his band the Let’s Go Out Tonites in support of his last album The Rise and Fall of Butch Walker and the Let’s-Go-Out-Tonites. Though the show last week was not quite sold out, it was great seeing Butch perform his new material switching back and forth between piano ballads and guitar rockers. Walker kicked off the night with three slow acoustic songs on the keyboard. The crowd was so quiet, the sound of the shutter from my camera as I photographed Butch caused a couple people around me to give me some annoyed looks. Ha, like the evil eye would stop me from documenting Butch Walker live in action! Better luck next time guys… But after those first few songs, Walker picked up his guitar and jammed away with his touring band, even throwing in a cover of Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” near the end of his set. With “Tiny Dancer” stirring up one of the best sing-a-longs I’ve ever hear at the HOB, I couldn’t help but think of that scene from Almost Famous where Penny Lane, Russell, and his Stillwater band members (and crew) bond over Elton’s classic masterpiece while driving through middle America. Make sure you check out Butch Walker when he comes to a city near you. I guarantee that you won’t even realize how long you’ve been standing up by the time he walks off stage. The man is that much fun.
More photos of Butch Walker: