Heart of Steel: Concert Reviews

Jarrod's Place, Attleboro, USA.  March 24th, 2001

Review By UltraBoris

Whooooaaaaa.... I have seen the mountain, Beavis, and it is good. I went to the Overkill show with this dude Matt (the local bootleg God, haha). So we got there 2 hours early, and the doors didn't open 'til 8, but we found our way to the backstage entrance, and after a while Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth - lead singer of Overkill - showed up in the parking lot... I totally forgot I had a camera, but at least I got my Necroshine CD front booklet autographed :-)

Then the line started forming... saw one guy all lined up with a tripod and a bigass camera - professional bootlegger, I've attempted to trade with him but he's got fucking everything. Including a lot of stuff I want, haha.

So yeah we were at the front of the line... at 8 they let us in, the crowd slowly trickled in, it was not at all difficult to get a front row space!! Right up to the freaking stage!!! I got a T-shirt at this time. (Overkill, Feel the Fire album cover, from 1985, damn cool that they're still printing them!!)

So they start playing some shit over the PA, and I mean shit. It's rapcore, mallcore, idiotcore, all the feces that I manage to avoid by not listening to the radio. Then the first band comes on. A local mallcore band named Last Step. I'd say they sucked ridiculous donkey balls, but that's an insult to the act of sucking donkey balls. The lead singer was a total poseur. The music was bass-driven, they played practically no riffs whatsoever. It was total shit. The guitar and bass were out of time, and the guitar was barely audible anyway. The drummer kept one damn irritating beat the whole way through. And they played a good 33 minutes. Total waste of time. Crowd reaction was lukewarm at best. (Hah, the crowd wanted them at least gotten off the stage, if not sacrificed to Satan.)

Finally, the Gods are merciful, they clear the stage. Lights come up. Roadies swarm. Mallcore again on the PA system. Total feces, I tells ya. The next band comes on. A band called Morte... they're a bit better but well below the non-suckage threshold. They played a more hardcore sound. No rap, though the vocalist was pretty atrocious. At least he looked like a metalhead, as did the guitarist. The setup sucked again though - the music was mostly bass driven, the drummer playing the SAME DAMN BEAT AS THE LAST BAND. This was getting sickening. The guitarist was equal parts inaudible and untalented. Though he did have long hair, and a 1985-era Sepultura tattoo. This band also put in the very occasional thrash riff, but they just couldn't sustain it, and the drumming was utter core-shit. They have very little potential.

They play some songs, the lyrics are incomprehensible, but so it goes. The main roadie for Overkill (some big huge dude, at least 320 pounds) is in the crowd, with a handheld camcorder. Oh did I mention they did no searching? I could've brought in a freaking recording studio, but damn if I actually did. Oh well. I got a camera, and I took two pictures of Morte. Or, as I am going to call them, Merde. Haha. If you know French, you get it :-) There was a mosh pit forming about 3 rows back and to the right of me. The bigass Overkill bouncer formed the extreme edge of it, and kept the boundary. If someone tried to mosh into him... hah, you've got another thing coming. So it is when you're 320 pounds.

So then some commotion's going on, Merde is forced to cut their set short. I have no idea why - they were supposed to play 9 songs, and they played like 6. Oh well... the roadies clear them off, the crappy music comes over the intercom again. Then the roadies do not a damn thing for a while - we're all standing around like rocks, watching an empty stage. Finally, after about a 20 minute delay, here comes Candy Striper Death Orgy. Looks like the drummer was late.

So yeah, here they come... the guitarist looks like Nuclear Assault's John Connelly, and he warms up on this awesome-looking guitar with stickers of band logos like Meliah Rage, Nuclear Assault, etc etc. He plays the first few riffs of Nuclear Assault's "Torture Tactics", a bit of Overkill "Fear His Name", and the greatest part? Standard tuning... powerful, powerful sound. Think Nuclear Assault, "Handle With Care" 1989 tour. This is incredible shit!! A real retro-thrash band? So far so good!!

The rest of the band comes on, and they start the first song. "The Result", if I recall correctly. It's above average riff-based thrash metal, mostly made of long instrumental sections of riff-work. No lead guitars, since there is only one guitarist. The bass tone is classic 80s-style too, as is the drumwork. "Holocaustic" is the second song. I don't recall the third song, but all 3 are very very good. I gotta get some info about these guys! 

The worst thing is, I saw the guitarist in the parking lot before the show but I thought he was just another roadie and I didn't talk to him. I should have... he kicks ass.

Anyway, the Candy Striper Death Orgy set has to be cut short. Overkill's gonna be on by ten o'clock, or some heads are gonna roll. That I find totally bogus, that they let the first two shitfucker bands play 33  and 25 minutes respectively, and they give this awesome retro-thrash outfit 15 minutes?

You wanna know why though? You're probably thinking "man all these Overkill fans wanna see a cool retro-thrash outfit." Fuck yeah, but the show is sponsored by 107.3 WAAF, the local poseur "hard" modern-rock radio station. They're Hell bent for the first two acts, and don't care that one of the most consistent thrash acts in existence is headlining, and a great local METAL band is second-billing, they let the third-tier poseurs get all the time and space. Hah! Well, WAAF knows where it can stick its rake.

So yeah, Candy Striper Death Orgy is forced off the stage to huge applause. The crowd is all ready now, all ready to go for Overkill. Finally, the between set music kicks ass. First, Metallica "Seek and Destroy". Then Anthrax "Misery", then Megadeth "In My Darkest Hour", and then a song that I swear had Rob Halford on it!! It starts off "Condition Critical..." but wow, since when is Quiet Riot that incredibly heavy?? Finally, Slayer's classic "Angel of Death." The crowd knows all the words - it's a METAL crowd!! We're singing along... "wings of pain! Reach out for you... " Then the song quickly fades out, the lights go off, and heeeeeere's Overkill!

They open with some cool intro music... then the band gets on stage, and immediately the atmosphere gets more confined. I am immediately introduced to the restraining bar to the front of me, and some person behind me that will continue to be rubbing against my ass for the duration of the show. DoH!

The opening track is "It Lives"... Blitz gives high fives to the entire front row. He's parked RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME for the entire duration of the show, which is fucking incredible. The second song is "Evil Never Dies."

It is during this song - the middle break part... ("hungry, hungry, power thirsting fear inflicting...") when me and my glasses go their separate ways. My glasses end up flying on the stage. In all the smoke, during the guitar solo Blitz himself finds them!! He puts them on for a few seconds, then gives them back to me during after the verse. Is that cool or what??? A really dopey situation on my part, but pretty funny. I gotta get a video of that show... gotta email the professional bootlegger that brought in that enormous camera. Mercifully, Blitz didn't make fun of me at all after the song. Though if he did, it would have been pretty damn funny. The fact that he wore the glasses for a little was good enough :-)

Next song is "Necroshine"... they start with the first main riff - the damn fast one... incredibly heavy, more so than the studio version. The band is in totally awesome form. After that is "Thunderhead" from the new album. The new album is great, incidentally - best Overkill since W.F.O. But anyway, this is the first song they play off that album. They do it very well - the crowd screams THUNDERHEAD!!! during the chorus quite well.

After that they do the first verse of "Wrecking Crew" before segueing into "Powersurge". Now I've never understood why only play half a song, but hey, they've been doing this for years, so I guess I'll let it go. Next up is another old favourite... "Hello from the Gutter." I know the words, and scream them loud and proud (yes, I'd sing along to every last damn song, and who cares if I'll wake up tomorrow unable to speak ever again, it was worth it, okay??) so Blitz gives me the all-knowing look (do recall, he's practically within strangling distance...) and another high five. (I got like 6 from him...)

Next song is "Bleed Me" from the new album. Another incredibly heavy song. An awesome song... the whole crowd digs it. Then, "Long Time Dying" from "From the Underground and Below". I take a few pictures of Blitz during this part. He may or may not oblige - he's going about his merry business, let's hope the shots turned out okay. I got an 800-speed camera this time, that should theoretically help my cause!

Next up, "Gasoline Dream" - Blitz takes a breather during the solo (which he did quite a few times, leaving the stage then coming bounding in right before the next verse) and tour guitarist Derek Tailer (is he really in the band? I couldn't tell ya if he's really in the band or just a hired gun) does a bit of a solo in the front of the stage, so I take a picture of him. He gives me the finger. I still got the picture of him. See, Blitz didn't mind... oh well. D.D. Verni does a bit of a bass solo, I get a few pictures of him. No pictures of other guitarist Dave Lynsk, or drummer Tim Mallare, they never got within firing range.

Between songs Blitz makes jokes about the Mets... "man, I didn't say the Yankees, what are you all upset over?" (1986!!) Also at one point he calls us wusses and "Yankee fans" (meanwhile the fat roadie has on a Boston Red Sox shirt. Whoo hoo!!)

Next song is "Horrorscope", another great performance. The middle part is a total headbanging part. Then, "Death Comes Out to Play", another new track, and maybe the best song on the album... good stuff!! The next song is actually a surprise (well, not for me since I was 2 feet away from the set list - more on this later) - it's "Spiritual Void" from the I Hear Black album!! Another great thrasher with a cool groove to it.

Then one of their best songs in my opinion... "Battle", followed by another song off Horrorscope... "Coma"!!! Then next up is "Rotten to the Core." I'm screaming my ass off during all 3 songs, and in the first verse of "Rotten to the Core", Blitz shoves the microphone in my face for a few seconds... very damn cool - my voice is practically gone by then, but I was giving my last hurrah or something, and Blitz noticed (what he was 2 feet away! Now only if he had heard - and obeyed - my request for the song "Deathrider", haha.) So I get to yell out a little bit of the verses and "Rotten to the Core!!!!" once. All over the PA system, so I scream it like I mean it :-) I manage to not forget the lyrics, so all is well! Thrash, thrash, thrash under pressure! Matt gets to sing during the third chorus, he manages to manage the chorus too.

That closes the main show... then there's the encore of course!! The classic "Elimination", and then of course the traditional closer to every Overkill show, that hallmark of kindness and good will... (yes, Virginia, there is a song with this title.) "FUCK YOU!!!" Hehehe... so the lights go down one last time, and Matt and I grab the setlist that's duct taped to the amp in front of me... I shove it into my front pocket, they probably never knew the difference :-) The crowd of course goes bonkers... middle fingers to all, and to all a good night!

Yeah, so that, my friends, is the Overkill show. I end up with a massive headache and feel like I'm gonna puke, but hey, if you ain't half dead by the end, you're a POSEUR!!!

So what should we learn from this? That Overkill put on a damn amazing show, that's what... so check 'em out, with your backs to the wall (or your chest against the railing, as the case may be) come along one and all. There was moshing, but I dunno what it is about people complaining that the moshing is in the front. The first 3 rows were all bangers of the metallest kind. Total maximum rockage factor - cranked to eleven!! Oh yeah, and check out Candy Striper Death Orgy. If you want some damn heavy classic thrash metal with a Nuclear Assault twist, then they are your new best friends.

Fuckin' A!!! Yeah I gotta see 'em again! So I didn't actually get ONTO the stage (unlike some people :-) ) but I did sing, and I did get an autograph... the only regret is not talking to Eric Paone from Candy Striper Death Orgy. I'll check 'em out sometime, they're great :-) Shameless fucking plug, but hey. www.csdo.net  - if any band needs the promotion, it's them. Dudes, it's classic fucking thrash.

Okay and this is the end of the concert review. Go in peace. Go where?? To the damn Overkill concert, you poor schmoe!!

RATING: * * * * * 1/4 (bonus points for Blitz giving me back my glasses!!)

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