Having been very impressed by Butcher Babies when they supported The Defiled in the UK in February I decided to head over to Europe to see one of their headline shows, so with the Amsterdam show falling on a weekend, cheap ticket prices and being the last night of the tour I headed over to see them.
The venue is a small club on the edge of Amsterdam’s red light area and is on a street full of sex shops and coffee shops (where cannabis rather than coffee is the main attraction). The venue wasnt very impressive when they finally opened the doors half an hour late as they have a strange system of letting three or four people in at a time, checking their tickets, lettting them deposit coats and bags in the cloakroom and move into the main room of the venue before they let anyone else in. As a result half the fans who’d been there half an hour before the doors opened still managed to miss almost all the support band’s set – farcical really. Still , once inside the venue was fine – a fairly small club that probably holds no more than a couple of hundred people with a bar down one side that took cash (not the stupid token system that many Dutch venues use).
Butcher Babies took to the stage to plenty of applause in this packed club and started the way they meant to continue – loud and heavy. Chrissy Warner sits at the back on drums while Henry Flury on guitar and Jason Klein on Bass stick to the sides of the stage and move a fairly limited amount, while Heidi and Carla on vocals are a blur of movement. They’re constantly stepping up onto boxes to tower over the crowd, leaping into the air, headbanging and moving around the stage, all while singing. Heidi apologised to the crowd at one point for not saying much and it was clear while she was talking that she was struggling with a bad throat that night – she could barely talk, but despite this she still sang and screamed all night and put in a great performance, as did Carla. Having the two lead vocalists does work very well and does make them quite unusual (although they aren’t the only band with two female lead vocalists – Coronatus are another band to do that).
One thing that disappointed me on the UK dates was that the band only had a 30 minute set, so tonight’s set lasting around an hour meant that they were able to play around a dozen songs instead of the six or seven they played in the UK. As you’d expect the set was based around their album (Goliath) which they had on sale for a short time at the merch stand till it sold out – along with every other piece of merchandise they had left by the last night of the tour.
I love the album and live they sound even better, and with Carla and Heidi putting in such energetic performances during the gig it really gives the gigs a more intense feel. The guys all put in excellent performances, and probably do get overlooked by fans focussing on Carla and Heidi, but without good musicians then things just wouldnt sound anywhere near as good. At the end of the set they went off before coming back to do a two song
encore, ending the night with “Axewound”.
After the gig ended it was nice that the entire band came out to the merchandise stand to meet fans, chat, sign autographs and pose for photographs – as a fan it’s always a nice way to end a night when a band does that.
This was a great gig and I really hope they come back to the UK for some headline dates before too long.