Butcher Babies, Infected Rain and Stitched Up Heart in Buffalo
When this tour was announced, I was really excited to see a local date here in Buffalo! I hadn't seen Butcher Babies in several years, and it's been a few since I've caught Stitched Up Heart as well. There's a huge buzz around Infected Rain, so it was awesome to see them as part of this lineup. There's an extra special something about an all-female fronted metal tour, too. Something about having a full bill, with each band led by a powerful woman (or women, in the case of Butcher Babies) that sends the take-no-prisoners message just a little bit louder.
I was extremely fortunate to arrange a pre-show interview with each of the tour's leading ladies. The full interview can be viewed below. It was really fun to get some insight into what a tour like this has been like for each of them. The one piece that stood out the most, was the level of camaraderie and companionship these girls have formed, both prior to and during the tour. Not to get too far ahead of myself, but this show was incredible and I sincerely hope we see this lineup again very soon! Check out the interview below, with the full show review and photo galleries to follow.
Interview: Mixi Demner, Carla Harvey, Lena Scissorhands and Heidi Shepherd
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Shortly after my interview wrapped up, I grabbed my spot in the barricade up front as Stitched Up Heart prepared to take the stage. They opened up their set with "This Skin" and "Warrior" off of their latest effort, 2020's 'Darkness.' They dipped into their debut album for a few songs with "Catch Me When I Fall" and "Finally Free" before returning to new material with "Lost" and "My Demon" until they ultimately closed out their all-too-short set with "Monster."
I always imagine how tough it is for the first band of the night to navigate a smaller stage and try and bring their vision to life, but vocalist Mixi Demner and company did it with ease, captivating the crowd from the opening song. Bassist Randy Mathias worked the crowd noticeably well throughout the performance.
The last time I saw Stiched Up Heart it was at a festival (Rock on the Range) and I left really wishing I could have had more. The same could easily have been said for this evening!
Stitched Up Heart's Mixi Demner
After a brief set change, Infected Rain took the stage. As I mentioned earlier, this was a band I've had almost no familiarity with, aside from the buzz around their charismatic vocalist Lena Scissorhands. It's worth noting, that I've been listening to them a lot since this show!
While I'm less familiar with their catalog, they've been performing a pair of songs that are some of my early favorites entitled "Freaky Carnival" and "Orphan Soul" (both off the 'Orphan Soul' album). For the un-initiated, I would (at the risk of being overly simplistic) compare Infected Rain's sound to something similar to In This Moment's debut album, 'Beautiful Tragedy.' That's not something I say lightly, either, as that remains my favorite In This Moment album to this day.
The raw barrage of energy pouring over the crowd was a true sight to behold. Make no mistake about it, while vocalist Lena Scissorhands is an exceptional front-woman, this is no solo trip. The entire band delivers a non-stop assault with the perfect balance of hooks and melodies to peak the attention of anyone in attendance.
I'm so happy to have had the chance to cover a show on their first US tour, and I look forward to a return trip sooner than later1
Infected Rain's Lena Scissorhands
After what could easily have been a full lineup already, the Butcher Babies took the stage to round out the evening. Having been at it for ten years now, this band has become something of an institution for hard-rocking, ass-kicking ladies in the music scene. While it's been a few years since I've seen them live as well, I've definitely had a few chances over the years, allowing me to really witness this group evolve into the confident top-billed act they are today.
Butcher Babies opened their set with "I Smell a Massacre" and "The Mirror Never Lies" from 2013's 'Goliath' album, before a blistering performance of "Monsters Ball." While COVID has kept bands off the road for some time, Butcher Babies have released a few singles, including 2020's "Bottom of a Bottle" and the brand new tracks, "Yorktown" and "It's Killin' Time, Baby!" Unsurprisingly, all three of these were including in this evening's set. By the way, if you haven't checked these tracks out yet, make sure you go give 'em a listen! "Bottom of a Bottle" is a solid hard rocker, while "It's Killin' Time, Baby!" and "Yorktown" are absolute beasts.
Watching the dual-assault from vocalists Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey has always been fascinating. This band works the stage and the crowd like few others do, and have you seen how freaking high Heidi can jump? Yeah, look for that in the photo gallery below, it's really something!
Call me crazy, but one of my favorites is still "They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!," which was the last song before they closed with "Magnolia Blvd."
Butcher Babies' Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey
In case my thoughts on this show weren't obvious enough, this tour was awesome. I wish I could have caught a few more dates, but they, we're just getting back to live music. If every night was received as well as the show here in Buffalo, I'm confident that we'll see a future leg of this tour, and hopefully a re-visit of some of these markets that welcomed these bands so loudly!
In the meantime, let's get out there and support your favorite bands! Buy the albums, stream the tracks, check out the merch stand at the shows and give these acts some love! They've been stuck off the road for a long time, and they've missed performing even more than we've missed seeing them (ok, so maybe it's a draw there). Let's all just hope this is the beginning of the triumphant return of live music to the stage!