December 3, 2013 Overkill, Kreator, & Warbringer thrash Stage 48, NYC 11-24-13
Thrash metal dominated in the 1980’s and produced some of the most legendary and influential metal bands of all time. Now 30 years since thrash ransacked the metal world, thrash titans like Overkill and Kreator still reign supreme. At the time the two bands announced a full length tour co-headlining “Legends of Thrash 2013″, it felt like 1985 all over again. Upping the ante, they brought along new millennium thrashers Warbringer. This tour is such a behemoth that it needed not one but two nights at Stage 48 in NYC. On the night of Sunday November 24th, two would prove to have brought in a large crowd yet again for another thrashing.
Lighting the torch for the evening was Southern California band Warbringer. Warbringer are one of the key contributors to the resurrection of classic thrash metal in the early part of the 2000’s. Led by John Kevill (vocals) and John Laux (guitars), these guys have earned the respect of veterans of thrash and justifies why they were given the opening slot of this tour. Now with Adam Carroll (guitars) back in the fold things couldn’t be better for these young thrashers. Their set was just as tight if not tighter than the first night in New York City. Carlos Cruz’s drumming was precise, hard hitting, and spine crushing. The guitar assault of Laux and Carroll was spot on and fun to watch. Songs like “Living Weapon” electrified the audience and had a dedicated fan base singing each word. “The Turning Of The Gears” and “Severed Reality” were just a few more of the powerful outputs Warbringer gave the audience. It was interesting to see the audience react as you saw young and old unite to thrash out with one of the new wave of thrash metal elite acts.
Kreator are one of the leaders of the thrash metal scene, beginning back in 1982 in their homeland of Germany, they opened the eyes of the rest of the world. Often referred to as one of the most influential bands of the thrash metal decade, Kreator deserves much more credit state side than they receive. In 2013 these guys continue to pump out quality metal every 3 years with their masterpiece Phantom Antichrist (2012). With that said it’s always an exciting time for dedicated metal fans to see Kreator tour North America every few years. It just so happens their fans here are being treated to a Kreator tour in consecutive years for the first time in a long time.
As Kreator took the stage, performing the intro of Phantom Antichrist (2012) set the tone for what was to come. What was to come was a thrashing unlike any others with “Phantom Antichrist” and “Death to the World”. Fans cheered and heads banged to these new tracks, and with that Kreator broke into classic tracks “Extreme Aggression”, “People of the Lie”, “Coma of Souls”, “Endless Pain”, and “Pleasure to Kill”. The streak of classics only made fans that much more pumped with moshing and some crowd surfing. If you grew up listening to Kreator it was as if they took your favorite mix tape of them and translated it live.
Keeping things fresh, Kreator mixed in some newer tracks including “Hordes Of Chaos” and “Civilization Collapse”. Their performance was tight, powerful, and at times awe inspiring. Toward the end of the set they went into “Flag Of Hate”. Showing comradery and a sense of humor, the crew handed Miland “Mille” Petrozza a flag to swing proudly. To much Mille’s demise, the flag was an Overkill flag. This was a comedic moment for the audience and band, and Mille admitted it was an end of tour joke, taking it in stride with smiles and laughs. One thing is for sure and that is Kreator are living legends of thrash metal hopefully reigning for years to come.
Closing out the co-heading event were none other than New Jersey’s own Overkill. Overkill transcends thrash metal on the east coast and abroad. Active for 30 years now, the band has sustained many line-up changes while Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth (vocals) and D.D. Verni (bass) continue to march on with an unprecedented 16 studio albums. As if their impressive discography isn’t enough these guys are live stage warriors, touring their asses off now for what seems every 3 months since they started. When they released The Electric Age (2012) many considered it one of the top metal albums of the year. Now it was time for the local heroes to take the stage.
As the chugging of Derek “The Skull” Tailer’s guitar began and Dave Linsk’s lead joined, the blood began to flow fast with “Come and Get It”. After an intense opening, Overkill followed with thrash classic “Wrecking Crew”. The track is meant to be played live, and their performance did the track justice proving they are still the wrecking crew. Next their set went into a nice mix of new and old with “Electric Rattlesnake”, “Hammerhead”, “Rotten to the Core”, and “Bring Me the Night”. Ron Lipnicki blasted away on drums like there was no tomorrow and makes one wonder how he keeps this intensity night after night. Blitz, as always, provided an array of stand-up comic relief which has become as much a part of Overkill as the music. The jokes were flowing at a rapid rate between songs and all had a good laugh. The band even played a prank on guitarist Tailer when they took a picture of what looked like a younger version of Tailer in wrestling attire and decided to draw some obscene things on it. The jokes didn’t stop there as Tailer guitar picks were swapped with Hello Kitty picks and he wasn’t the wiser. The entire Overkill crew had a good laugh and it proved to be good clean fun you don’t see often now a day with bands.
The set list went on, shuffled around slightly from the first evening at Stage 48, and with that fans on night 2 were treated to “Who Tends the Fire”. The track received a roaring cheer and Blitz’s voice shined bright. That led to closing out the set with fan favorites and Overkill classics “In Union We Stand”, “Overkill”, and “Elimination”. These tracks have been mainstays in Overkill sets for quite a number of years now and still sound just has great each time. Chanting for more, Overkill came out for an encore starting off with “Coma”. The opening track off Horrorscope (1991) did get much attention in Overkill’s set until recent years, and fans are definitely glad they have done so. This was yet another treat for the audience of night two at Stage 48. Many who attended night one came back for night two, so hearing a different set was well worth the extra night’s admission. The evening closed out on a high note with one of Overkill’s most played songs over the past decade, and that would be “Fuck You”. The song has the perfect energy and attitude a metal show needs and provokes instant interaction with fans. It’s reasons like this that Overkill fans keep coming back for more each time these guys come around.
Chris CzajkowskiPosted at 20:38h, 07 December
What a GREAT tour, caught it twice, in Baltimore when they kicked it off an NYC , Bobby Blitz still has the energy of a young man, a loyal Green n Black fan since 83 . Also was my first encounter with Warbringer, what a awesome band really impressed me, can’t wait to see them again.
KREATOR Now what can you saw but amazing , One of the best tours I’ve seen in a while, and it seemed all 3 bands were perfect combo on this tour