Rock Bar Amsterdam
Rock Music Culture
Amsterdam is home to the famous Anne Frank house, Van Gogh Museum, and vibrant flower markets. The first thing we were greeted by in this great city was the architecture. Incredibly high, almost gothic style buildings in parts made you feel quite insignificant, but also in awe of your surroundings. It’s always satisfying to feel lost in your environment unknowing of what you may be about to discover beyond the next corner.
After obligatory searching for the nearest power points in our hotel rooms to charge our phones, we decided to search for local bars in the area, and live music, on the off chance we might get to experience how the Dutch headbang. We were not disappointed in the slightest. Within a few minutes we’d set our sites on at least 5 different bars we wanted to check out, and two nights of live music.
One of the most intriguing though was BR020. BR020 was actually opened by Paulo Xisto. Bass player from legendary Brazilian metal band Sepultura. The name was confusing at first but we then discovered that it was pretty simple. BR stood for Brazil, and 020 was part of the zip code for the location of the bar. Simple, but effective.
We really didn’t know what to expect. From checking out photos on social media, it seemed like quite a small bar with not a hint of metal in sight. How wrong we were. Upon entering the rustic looking hipster joint, we were met with an entire wall full of original vinyl pressings of some of the biggest metal bands and albums on the planet. Not only could you hypnotically fixate your eyes on the glorious covers of these records, but you could also request to have any one of them played!
The bar also features wall hangings of a very unique kind. Bass guitars, which we have to assume belong to the man himself, Paulo Xisto. Cymbals also litter the venue walls, and one wall is made entirely of old PA speakers. BR020 has managed to seamlessly integrate the modern feel of an authentic independent cafe that serves killer beer and tasty food, with the mystic of Metal music. You’re very aware that you’re sat in a seemingly “normal looking” cafe that is owned by a musical legend.
The vinyl wall gets changed every single month with a fresh batch of new albums for people to request as they drink and dine their night away. It’s also quite strange to see such a mix of people from office workers that are grabbing a beer after work, and metalheads covered in tattoos stamping their feet to Anthrax, but it works really well.
BR020 was without a doubt one of the most unique experiences we’ve encountered on our travels around Europe. Where else can you listen to an original pressing of Anthrax - Among The Living, devour a tasty vegan burger, and enjoy some super delicious beer whilst being surrounded by Bass guitars owned by Sepultura? Don’t worry, they serve “normal” food as well.
Also, shout out to the staff who were super friendly, and the chef who made a seriously great meal for us.