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Live Reviews : The Butterfly Effect, Rival Fire & Osaka Punch @ The Croxton Hotel, Melbourne 11/03/2018

By on March 14, 2018

Australia has had a rash of classic alternative and progressive bands making comebacks in recent times, and none are more welcome than Brisbane’s The Butterfly Effect.

They have bought their Brissie buddies Osaka Punch along on this return jaunt, and what a ripping choice they are. It’s always great to rock into a massive room like this and see it well on its way to being packed solid at 8:15 for the opening support. This is a band of such versatility, they can funk it right up, go all tech-metal on us (and boy, do they have the chops to pull it off), do a fabulous a-capella piece and then rip out a highly interesting instrumental, all in the space of four tunes. And even more importantly, they do so with a highly quirky and engaging sense of fun, and all this added up together makes for one ridiculously entertaining 30 minute set and there is nary a face in the place without a big cheesy smile on it.

Sometimes bands take a little while to develop, and on tonight’s evidence Melbourne’s Rival Fire are really starting to hit their stride as a unit. They just seem a touch tighter and their choruses seem to soar higher than before. There’s a new intensity and swagger, and a sense of togetherness about them now which can only come from playing together a lot, both in the rehearsal rooms and on tour. And while Rob Farnham may not have been blessed with the sweetness and purity of his old man’s pipes (and let’s face it, who has?), he is still developing very nicely as a frontman, both in terms of his vocals and stagecraft. Rival Fire provide another highly satisfying 30 minute support set.

Imagine finding a favourite old jacket you haven’t worn for a while, you fish it out of the cupboard, dust it down, try it on and it fits perfectly. It looks fabulous. You feel good wearing it. In a musical sense, that’s what seeing The Butterfly Effect again after so many years feels like.

The giant band room in the Croxton is jam-packed, and you can feel the reverence with this band is held oozing from the pores of everyone in the audience. The sound is enormous, and virtually every person knows virtually every word of every song. The band slam through a one hour, twenty minute career-spanning set, although it borrows heavily from the first two major releases, the iconic songs simultaneously spitting venom and drawing you in with their heady atmospherics.

Singer Clint Boge, these days resembling Jason Momoa in full Aquaman mode, delivers his dark lyrics with pure passion, and holds the crowd enraptured with his skilled frontmanship. And the band behind him lock back into gear like there was no six year gap in their career.

Although there is no brand new material, the band shake up the arrangements of some of the tunes, adding new elements into the mix, and everything works a treat.

Whether or not this is the start of a whole new phase of TBE’s career, including new music to be written, recorded and released, remains to be seen, but to see this band laying out their classic tunes in a live setting once more is an experience to be savoured like wine.

Catch The Butterfly Effect on their remaining Australian March tour dates. Head to for tour dates and tickets.


Rod Whitfield is a Melbourne-based writer and retired musician who has been writing about music since 1995. He has worked for Team Rock, Beat Magazine,, Heavy Mag, Mixdown, The Metal Forge, Metal Obsession and many others. He has written and published his memoirs of his life and times in the music biz, and also writes books, screenplays, short stories, blogs and more.