OVERKILL Shoot Anniversary DVD In Oberhausen; Report, Photos
April 18, 2016, 2 years ago
Only made sense. Dripping in sweat, when they recorded the original/'87 Fuck You EP, at the Phantasy Theater. Not only in attendance, but actually shot photos, when the Jersey Boys returned to Cleveland, Ohio, for Wrecking Your Neck (blurred back cover of CD booklet, a shot reprised for the cover of the single, is mine). The Wrecking Everything live DVD, in Asbury Park... I was there and although not planned to record beforehand, the Wacken 2007 show also saw me in the crowd. So when they announced a double-header, commemorating 30 years since the debut and 25 on from Horrorscope, knew a ticket to Germany was in the offing.
The band, with recently recruited Pissing Razors mainman/drummer Eddy Garcia behind the kit (just a couple weeks of shows on his resume), opted for the cavernous Turbinhalle, a regular tour stop. Had been to Oberhausen twice before, once for ex-Sodom drummer Chris Witchunter's memorial concert and just a couple years back, for an outdoor show, featuring Iron Maiden, Sabaton and Ghost. Speaking of luminaries, old ‘Kill contemporaries, Kreator and Sodom were in the house, for the DVD filming.
This was a multi-generational event, although skewed towards the oldtimers. From a steel scaffold, seemingly erected for TV's Ninja Warrior challenge, hung a massive backdrop, with horned skull, proudly proclaiming who was onstage.Ten Marshall stacks, two heads on each, equally split, either side of Garcia. As the band took the stage, in a cloud of what would be omnipresent fog, the audience unfurled paper banners overhead. Provided to all attendees by The Skullcrushers, the local fan club, they declared that tonight the town was Overhausen, the first four letters in the traditional Overkill green font. Should make a stunning visual, to open the DVD. Not much suspense in playing an album in it's entirety, the setlist a foregone conclusion. The only question was which album would appear first. Would have thought (and no one could blame them) the old men would have begun with the hyper-kinetic debut material and sort of relaxed, later in the show, with Horrorscope, but that's not the mentality that's enabled Overkill to thrive for more than three decades!
"Coma" is a good opener, getting the floor shuffling right away. During the chorus, red light highlights singer Bobby 'Blitz' Ellsworth. Right into "Infectious", the curly haired frontman hocking up a big lugee as they start (will it be edited out?). The storm of strobes in "Blood Money" is unlike anything witnessed before. Shock and awe! Only now does Blitz address the crowd, prior to "Thanx For Nothin". Purple flashes on a dark stage greets "Bare Bones", as piano keys tinkle. When the band reappears, it's under deep blue hues and billowing smoke. Speaking of blazes, Dave Linsk absolutely shreds on this one! At the conclusion, the stage goes black, then a lone DD Verni stands center stage with a double neck bass, everything lit in trademark Overkill green. Cue "Skullcrusher", to the delight of the army of fans (who make/sell their own patches, for denim/leather jackets), their banner hanging off the facade of the balcony.
"New Machine" sees Derek Tailer flipping his guitar pick and catching it, as he plays. The cover of Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein" instrumental is a bit of a respite, complete with pre-recorded space ship landing sound effect. "Soulitude" sees the return of the two-headed bass, with Bobby in green and the rest of the crowd singing along. Blitz offers a wave and says "Goodnight," as he leaves the stage, but that's just the end of the Horrorscope album. Now it's time to unleash Feel The Fire!
Red stage lights to start, Tailer now without a shirt.If humanly possible, the sea on the floor churns even greater than before, as "Raise The Dead" segues into strobe augmented "Rotten To The Core". There's almost a punk intensity in the rapid fire delivery. Ellsworth takes time out to talk about their first DVD. Well, he corrects himself and says it was a VHS: 1986 US Speed Metal Attack (which included four songs from the debut, recorded in Bochum, Germany, as well as Anthrax and Agent Steel. Look for it kiddies.) "There's No Tomorrow" and "Second Son" whiz by. Hell, in the vinyl age, the original disc only lasts 40 minutes. Soaked head-to-toe, Blitz removes his Skullcrushers button down, now in sleeveless black tank top.Overweight and balding guys go over the barricade for "Hammerhead", but when Blitz charges in from the wings, as he's done countless times before, he fumbles the mic, knocking the stand to the ground. Luckily, it's quickly back in his hand. The title track is probably the evening's money shot, the singer introducing Verni as "The governor of New Jersey." In retrospect, it's sort of mid-tempo, for 80s thrash, and like all the songs tonight, a huge vocal response and audience participation favorite. Linsk once again struts his stuff. Gus who?
Blue stage for "Blood & Iron" and Blitz says "Kill At Command" has only ever been played a couple of times, so committing it to DVD is a rare moment, even for the most loyal fans. The sly singer says "I remember the words" and proceeds to hum the "whoa whoa"section. The familiar strum of guitar heralds "Overkill", the lyrics were memorized, for my senior college public speaking course recitation. Came back in an instant. After that, they again left the stage, once more to return, Verni dragging his bass, on the ground, behind him, for a song that Overkill have made their own, closing almost every show for I don't know how many year, their rendition of The Subhumans' "Fuck You!" Can't wait to see it all again!
Are you glad we came? Yes!