While I have never been a source of shame for my parents, I have definitely lived a life filled with milestones that aren’t necessarily “that’s my boy” territory. You can officially add breaking my Overkill cherry to the “things my Mom won’t reference as a source of boastful parental pride at church group” pile. (Sorry ma. I gotta be me.) It seems almost impossible I hadn’t seen Overkill prior to this. In the mid Nineties, they were damn near the house band at Ryan’s, a St. Paul club I routinely hung out at. Yet, here I was on an early may evening, walking through the heart of the University of MN to take in a metal show from one of thrash metal’s iconic artists. Horns up!
The sea of black t-shirts on aging metal heads blending with the yoga pant clad collegians is a sight I will cherish forever. My compadre and I started with a stop at a college bar filled with an equal blend of college students and men in their 40’s wearing black Goatwhore hoodies. The $5 pitchers of beer were a nice touch as well. It was cheaper for us to leave a 1/4 pitcher of beer on the patio than it was to buy two beers. Horns up!
Direct support was supplied by Death Angel. Their album Act III is not just a slab of timeless metal everyone should own, it is a time capsule of a space in my life filled with personal reconstruction. So it kind of sucked they ignored that record for the most part with “Seemingly Endless Time” being the only song from their biggest record to crack the set. That little bitch aside, they crushed. And in the spirit of fairness, their 7 song set featured one song from 6 of their 8 released records and one from their soon to be release record. Horns up!
Were it not for the opinion of people I trust (Aaron Camaro, Gene Vogel, Danny Beck) and one I don’t (Eddie Truck), I doubt the off chance Death Angel may play more than one track off of Act III, would have been enough to get me to Dinkytown on a Friday night. Combined with those solid recommendation’s was my personal belief that Overkill was a band I needed to see at least once. And my instincts were correct. Horns up!
You can see the years of waking up in buses parked in parking lots on the face of Bobby Blitz. But you won’t hear it in his voice. And you don’t need to be the worlds leading expert on Overkill to recognize his voice. The undeniable thrash metal icon and face of the band from New Jersey is delivering as well as ever. My hetero date for the evening and fellow Overkill virgin could not get over how high this guy from New Jersey sings. Horns up!
Touring in support of their latest record Wings of War, you get a band well aware of their audience and their history. Playing a solid 3 tracks from the new record to a crowd that probably owns it worked. Playing no more than two songs from any prior album, Overkill spread a good amount of their 16 song set to their significant history. Maybe a more diehard fan could nitpick this set list. But I had no reason to complain. Horns up!
The most important aspect of Overkill is that there is none more metal. Over 30 years later they remain true to the most basic and brutal elements of metal music. Even more impressive is how, much like the band, their fan base has aged but never changed. They will never let go of their love for metal… or satanic black hoodies. Horns up!