Butcher Babies – September 20, 2021 – The Chance, Poughkeepsie, NY

Sunday, 26th September 2021

It has been quite some time since a live show review was written for this site!  Due to COVID, things went dark for a long time, but now things are opening back up here in the US and that means that it’s time to get ourselves back out there into concert mode.  One of the first shows for this scribe was that of Butcher Babies, Infected Rain, and Stitched Up Heart at a smaller, more intimate venue – one that made for a great evening as well.

Stitched Up Heart is an act that I’ve witnessed for many evenings over the last five years, and for good reason.  They are an excellent live band.  Emotive and heavy music – this is also the first time that the band has been able to properly tour in support of last year’s Darkness.  We got a short, 7-song set from the band that shifted between cuts from said album and their debut, Never Alone.  A special treat of a bagpipe addition to older cut “Finally Free” would be the highlight (a personal fave of mine to begin with), giving the track some extra flair that was a unique addition to the Poughkeepsie show.  Outside of that, vocalist Mixi grabbed a guitar for “Catch Me When I Fall,” and it was great to finally hear “My Demon” live.  There was an impressive amount of fog that the band employed that was a nice touch, bringing some extra mystique to the set.  The band is all smiles and energy on stage, moving about and getting the crowd involved, and none of that has changed through the years.

Next up was Infected Rain, on their first tour of the United States.  They immediately received a massive welcome from the crowd.  They returned the favor with a dose of visceral energy and groove coupled with moments of ethereal atmosphere throughout their set.  With cuts mostly from their most recent releases Endorphin and 86, the band’s presence was palpable.  Near constant movement from all of the members, complete with some synchronized jumps from the guitar and bass department, the massive grooves really hit hard and almost allowed the listener to go into ‘the zone.’  However, vocalist Lena Scissorhands frequently interacted and commanded the crowd to jump, headbang, and get into the music even further.  Some more esoteric moments like those in “The Earth Mantra” felt hypnotic after the pummeling grooves of much of the material.  It was quite evident that the band is impressively hungry to get their name plastered across the States, and with a stunning performance like they did here, it will undoubtedly happen sooner than later.

Headliners Butcher Babies are an act I haven’t caught since 2015 when they opened up for Amaranthe.  But if there was one thing that I remembered from those years ago, it’s that they are a very fun live act.  Such memories were recalled within a few moments of the band stepping on stage with “I Smell a Massacre.”  Heidi, Carla, and the rest of the band are quick to incite the crowd, with frequent interaction between themselves and the audience.  The vocal pair is all smiles on the stage, and their passion does shine through the performance.  Focusing mostly on their first album, Goliath, some other cuts such as the energetic “Monsters Ball,” and newer cuts in “It’s Killing Time, Baby” and “Bottom of a Bottle” provided a heavy set that the crowd was all too happy to get behind.  Some humor in between songs, including a bit to make Carla take a drink, added a greater sense of intimacy to the already small Chance Theater, and its those little moments that make for an entertaining evening.

All in all, some great sets from the three bands involved, and a welcome return to ‘normalcy’ in that they’ve been able to hit the road and not be forced off of it yet.  It provides some hope that perhaps the fall touring season will be a fond one to remember.  Those who enjoy modern metal should do their best to get out and show these acts some deserved love.