Monday, November 25, 2013

Overkill / Kreator - Stage 48, NYC November 23, 2013

There were a lot of folks at this show hungry for their Overkill fix.  While they played New York City earlier in the year, it was on Valentine's Day on the Dark Roots of Thrash Tour (with 4Arm, Flotsam & Jetsam and headlined by Testament).  Myself and quite a few people I know just couldn't pull that one off and we planned on doing the show at the Paramount on Long Island a few days later.  It turned out Overkill would have to cancel that show due to vocalist Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth getting the flu so it was great to see the "Legends of Thrash" Tour (Kreator / Overkill / Warbringer) would be ending with a two night stand at Stage 48 in NYC with Overkill in the headlining slot (unlike most of the rest of the tour.)

Me and my (wrecking) crew decided to get tix for the first show on Saturday.  We headed down to the city early for a few hours of hang time at Manitoba's, the best rock bar in Manhattan, then headed uptown to Hell's Kitchen arriving at Stage 48 at just about seven.

For some unexplained reason, the start time of this show was moved forward an hour earlier in the week.  We got inside missing Warbringer and with about five minutes to spare before Kreator hit the stage.

Before we discuss the show, I have to talk about security.  These bands have been around a long time and the average age of the crowd was probably about 40ish.  Why is there still some kind of thought that heavy metal shows = violence?  I guess I understand a little pat down, but goddamn!  I thought I owed the security guard a fifty with the handjob I got to cap off the security check to actually get inside.  At one point I thought he was attempting to practice his new hobby of puppetry because I'm pretty sure he tried to slide his whole hand up the crack of my ass.  So Stage 48...guess what, we're actually coming to enjoy the music, not start a gang fight, you can settle down next time something heavy comes through!

As is probably obvious from my description so far, I was really here only to see Overkill.  I know some Kreator and appreciate good thrash, but basically that's all their set was to me, just an average thrash set, so here's some pictures from their set, then I'll continue with a full review of Overkill and plenty of shots as well.

Kreator - let me say one thing you can probably tell from the pics below.  While as of earlier that day, this show was not listed as sold out, I find that very suprising.  It was PACKED out for Kreator.  The New York Crowd gave them a great response.

Here's the initial view as I was coming down the stairs (Stage 48 is two levels and you enter, get every orifice checked and walk up stairs to the balcony level to enter the performance area of the venu, then you have to come back downstairs to get to main floor)











You can view Kreator's setlist here.

Once Kreator ended, the giant pit that had been raging filled up and I was able to get a much better spot to enjoy Overkill. It would be a wait though.  It was a very long time between sets, but the lights finally went down at about 9:10pm with Overkill opening with the classic "Deny The Cross" off of 1987's "Taking Over"




As can be see above, Bobby was his usual fantastic front man self with his vocals as strong as ever and D.D. Verni was a maniac on bass. The whole band is amazingly tight with the twin guitar attack of Dave Linsk and Derek "The Skull" Tailer plus Ron Lipnicki holding it all down with his brutal drumming.


"Bring Me The Night" from 2010's "Ironbound" album was next...



This led right into "Electric Rattlesnake" from their newest album, "The Electric Age."



Two from their debut album "Feel The Fire" were next with "Hammerhead" and what is basically the metal anthem of The Big Apple - "Rotten To The Core."



Overkill did an excellent job with the mix of old and new during this show, but the key to that is the fact that their new material is as strong as the classics.  They are one of those few bands who haven't "lost it" or had a bad string of albums before some kind of come back.  They have an incredibly strong catalog that flows great together.  No "beer run" songs in this set.



One of their bonafide MTV "hits" was next with "Hello From the Gutter"



After which we were treated to the title track from "Ironbound."



into the title track from "Necroshine"



"Thanx for Nothin'" from "Horrorscope was next before going back to one of the earliest classics, the original "Overkill" from "Feel The Fire.




Another staple from Headbanger's Ball was next with "Elimination"



The upbeat "Elimination" led into the crushing doom of the title track of "Horrorscope"


It was then time to end the night with the classic singalong with their cover of the Subhumans' "Fuck You".



Overall a fantastic set but with some minor complaints.  Mainly only 70 minutes?!?  A homecoming show in front of a rabid audience that got moved to an hour earlier start time and we got the exact same 13 song set played on every other date of the tour?

It was a great 13 song set...a great 70 minutes...but c'mon, throw us a few extra tunes (No "Wrecking Crew" even?). I shouldn't be walking out of a show at 10:15pm on a Saturday in NYC!

Before the show I was debating going down the next night, but the fact that they didn't change the set at all from the rest of the tour made me think I would just see a repeat performance.  I was wrong.  The next night they switched out multiple songs (songs played at that show and no other on this tour included Wrecking Crew, Come and Get it, Who Tends the Fire, Coma and In Union We Stand (I didn't think they ever played that anymore!).  Oh well - what can you do.  I hope next time Overkill tours, it's not a package "co-headlining" tour and we get a true, at least 90 minute, headline set.

What we did get Killed!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Reignwolf - Voodoo "Flip Book" - New Orleans - November 2, 2013

If you've been following along with the last few posts, you'll see this year's Voodoo weekend in New Orleans was owned by Reignwolf.  

I got up early on Saturday (11:00 am or so...which for me on vacation in New Orleans is early) so I would be sure to have time to get to Canal to grab one of the trolleys or buses to Voodoo and get a primo spot in front of the Carnival stage for Reignwolf's set.

Got a good big seafood omelet breakfast at Daisy Duke's on Chartres, caught the bus, got through the gates. Walked up to a small crowd watching L.P. perform.  Sat there the whole time listening and thinking I know this woman's voice.  Then she ended her set with "Into The Wild" which I realize I've heard a million times in a Citibank commercial.  Damn...commercials and TV really are the new radio these days aren't they?

Anyway, I won't pontificate on that...let's talk about Reignwolf.

So L.P. ended and I walked up to the barrier where I found two new friends from the previous night who travelled from Florida for the weekend of Reignwolf festivities.

This review will be pretty short and sweet and then you can just enjoy the photos.  I titled this post "Flip Book" because I took so many friggin pictures (this is a small fraction of them) that I could basically have created a flip book of the whole set which in parts you'll see below.

If you haven't read it yet, first go check out my post about the previous night at The Parish at House of Blues here.  

I knew this show would be good, but wasn't sure it could live up to seeing the band from a foot away on a tiny stage in a tiny club about 15 hours earlier.  Could Reignwolf bring the passion and the fury to a much larger and higher stage as the hot New Orleans sun blasted down on us (and shown in the band's eyes)?

Well shit...turns out they could gang!

Lead guitarist and vocalist Jordan Cook came out solo as he did the night before and opened the show with his one man possessed blues band - singing while playing guitar and drums before bringing out drummer Joseph Braley and "Buitarist" David "Stitch" Rapaport to complete the triumvirate which would lord over the crowd for the next 45 minutes or so.

As I said before, I'll let the chronological photos of the set below do the talking, but the boys once again proceeded, in this roofless venue to tear the sky down before our eyes.

My concern with the high stage and barrier were alleviated when minutes into the set, Jordan made it clear that he would erase that barrier as often as possible to the delight of the fans and the massive amount of photographers who crammed into the space between barrier and stage playing on the monitors, front speakers and literally in and on the crowd at times.

The set was similar to the previous night's and off the top of my head the one difference is they did their cover of Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain" on this Saturday afternoon.

The crowd grew to thousands as the set went on, it was a sea of people behind me when I turned around for a glance mid set.  MANY new fans were made on this day.

A famous fan side note:  Before the set, we spotted Steve Gleason come over to get a spot at the soundboard.  Steve is a member of the New Orleans Saints and diagnosed with ALS.  His foundation Team Gleason (check out website here) was supported fully throughout Voodoo.  He even brought Pearl Jam onstage for their headlining slot the night before.  Steve evidently has great taste in music.

Reignwolf tore it up for the next three quarters of an hour, ending the set literally giving blood as strings were torn from the guitar and Jordan played IN the audience. What a way to end...

But wait...what's this?  Something I have not seen before with a midday band at Voodoo - they were called back for and allowed an encore!  

Deservedly so...I was not the only person walking away at around 3:30 knowing nothing would top that set the rest of the weekend.

New Orleans loved it.  So did I.

Blatant plea to Reignwolf:  Come back to New York!

Enjoy...these photos are in order from the moment they hit the stage through playing in the crowd through bloodied hands through the encore.

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