It seems like nearly every band eventually reunites, but the Botch reunion is one that a lot of us thought would never happen. Even after they released their first new song in over 20 years–which guitarist David Knudson says came together unexpectedly and organically–there was still some hesitance to actually play shows. Finally, they tested the waters with a surprise set at longtime producer Matt Bayles’ birthday party in October of 2022, and then played their first proper show since 2002 four months later. This past weekend, they brought their hugely-anticipated reunion tour to NYC for two shows: Friday (11/10) and Saturday (11/11) at Webster Hall.
Whatever hesitance may have existed at one point was clearly shed by the time of this show; Dave Verellen, David Knudson, Brian Cook, and Tim Latona went as hard as you’d hope, sounded larger than life, and seemed genuinely over the moon about the opportunity to play to some of the biggest crowds of their career, two decades after they initially broke up. Brian’s bass tone was monstrous, Tim’s drumming was all power, David Knudson dished out his mathy riffage with all the intensity and precision he had back in the day, and Dave V still commands (and jumps into) the crowd like a natural-born hardcore frontperson. It’s really something how much sound and force they can make with just four people.
Botch played the new song (“One Twenty Two”), and it was at least as much of a highlight as all the classics from American Nervoso, We Are the Romans, and An Anthology of Dead Ends–if they ever do decide to write more music, they seem like a reunited band who could genuinely make another great record. The packed crowd was full of loving fans–many of whom I assume never saw the band back in the day (myself included)–and all the energy was given right back to Botch in the form of raised fists, impassioned shoutalongs, and a little opening of the pit. The crazed moments were of course major highlights, but the show could be even more overwhelming when Botch would break into one of their slower, more atmospheric passages and the crowd would just stand there mesmerized.
Mutoid Man was supposed to open the Saturday show, but cancelled all their shows due to a member being sick, so Friday opener Uniform opened both shows. They looked and sounded awesome, and their intense aggression made them a great fit. Friday’s show also had Tower on first. Pictures of all three bands from Friday’s show by P Squared continue below, along with some fan-shot videos and the setlist.
Botch’s tour will be back in the area for a show at NJ’s Starland Ballroom this Saturday (11/18) with the amazing lineup of Converge and Cave In.
Botch @ Webster Hall – 11/10/23 Setlist (via)
To Our Friends in the Great White North
Mondrian Was a Liar
Thank God for Worker Bees
One Twenty Two
Transitions From Persona to Object
Hutton’s Great Heat Engine
C. Thomas Howell as the “Soul Man”
Saint Matthew Returns to the Womb