Venue: Best Buy Theater (New York, NY)
Opener: Accept, Sabaton, Cypher Seer
Label: E1 Entertainment
I know that just by saying this that a lot of Metal fans will think me having a screw loose or not really knowing about the genre but here goes nothing. I am really tired about hearing about the “Big Four” concert that is happening way out in a California desert in a week or so. Yeah its cool that Metallica has chosen to do a show where Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax will all open up for them, but in truth we hear from and about these bands so much that I prefer to focus my attention on the other bands that are working their collective tails off to entertain you and not getting as much internet ink so to speak. With that being said, how cool is it that the mighty Overkill was once again in NYC and hosting an event with Accept as their direct support? In a quick answer, it was super frigging cool. The gig would be at the Best Buy Theater and find both Sabaton and Cypher Seer serving as the first bands on the line. Sadly I would not be able to arrive in time for the Nightmare Records artist Cypher Seer but I can safely say that they are a good band and one that is worth your looking into. They recently released their debut on Nightmare so help them out by ordering yourself a copy.
Sabaton: I had been interested in seeing Sabaton based on a number of my friends finding them to their liking, and let’s face it, you cannot always be aware of the bands on the scene. At any given day a writer and photographer gets dozens of names tossed at them and it becomes daunting to dig through the piles to find the gold. The band is signed to Nuclear Blast Records, still reigning champ as one of my favorite labels in terms of the output for the exact kind of Metal I enjoy. It’s a very “heroic” sounding kind of stuff and some of it is based on war. Their lead singer Joakim Broden was sporting aviator shades and had some kind of armor on his vest and the man was clearly enjoying being in NYC this evening. The response was generally good for the band but the set was too short and not really enough to get a true and proper gauge of. They will return with Evergrey later on in the year and I will hopefully see them again. Now it was time for some Accept.
Accept: It is without question that Accept is on a roller coaster ride of popularity these days thanks to the addition of Mark Tornillo as their new lead singer and a smoking new Metal release in “Blood Of The Nations”. The band headlined early last year around this region and we caught both shows, with each leaving us thrilled with the delivery and energy that they were putting out there. Before I continue it should be noted that this was really an Accept tour but when they decided to come up to this region, Overkill was added on as the headliner. There would be three such shows with one in New Jersey and I think Virginia. Don’t quote me on the last one. It was cool that Accept seemed okay with this arrangement but it would mean a shorter set than the other stops on the run. They kicked it off with “Teutonic Terror” and “Bucketful Of Hate” from the new and still smoldering album and as I watched them it didn’t see like Mark Tornillo was hesitant about the role anymore. During the first show it seemed like he was struggling a bit and perhaps even nervous about being accepted by the fans, but it sure looks like he is okay now and doing a bang up job. There would be three total from the new release and the other seven tunes being delivered would span a number of albums. I’ve mentioned that back in the day this was never “my band” but that I did like some of the hits or more stand out numbers. Lucky for me they would play a lot of the ones I had expected to hear such as “Metal Heart”, “Starlight” and the seminal “Fast As A Shark”. The place when crazy for that one and as usual it leads us to the set closing “Balls To The Wall”. I felt the band blasted through their gig this evening because one second they were on and the next it was all done and the crowd was seeking air and water or more beers in preparation for the soon to arrive Overkill. I wish continued success to Accept as they preach their Metal message to new generations of fans and hope that they come back again soon as a direct support slot to someone whose audience might really appreciate and welcome them.
Overkill: Last year when Overkill played this very same theater (which was still going by the name Nokia Theatre). The festival nature of the gig found it starting very early. The open minded fans arrived early to see everyone but many remained outside until the third or even fourth bands and it was around the beginning of the third act that the people downstairs started getting texts about their being a bomb threat outside of the venue on Broadway. No announcement was officially made by venue staff and I think this was to avoid panic since we were likely safe being so far underground but it was true. Some idiot terrorist was out to blow up Times Square and take as many people out as possible. Police didn’t let hundreds of people in even though the threat had been neutralized and as result Overkill did not perform to the sold out house that bought tickets and instead to a little over 1200 by my guesstimate. It was scary to arrive back on the outside world to see all the police presence but I was glad they prevented any loss of life.
Tonight there would be no such drama and I was happy for this. Instead the venue was packed to the brim for the just finished Accept and now raring to go for Overkill. The band has been enjoying some real accolades for their “Iron Bound” album and it’s a solid effort that keeps the band’s sound true. Of course this was the best manner in which to enjoy Overkill and the crowd was a raging sea of wild humanity from the moment that the lights went off. I’ve seen some crazy crowds at Metal shows and while Slayer’s contingent is a unique experience I have to say that the Overkill crowd is nothing less than a frenzied mass of humanity. They would open with “The Green And The Black” from the new album and then would mix it up a little by going back and forth between classic and new. This was working well for the band even though the reaction was a little more volatile when the long standing tunes came up as opposed to the newer ones. The good thing for the band is how consistent their sound has remained and how strong the new release actually is. It sounds like it could have been released by the band any number of years ago and it is likely their strongest recording in years. Nice to see the old boys have the proper tricks at their disposal for the sake of the Metal community.
The lineup remains as tight as a Metal drum as Blitz and Verni are complimented by the guitar shredding of Linsk and Tailer while the drums were getting pummeled by Lipnicki. Ron’s the most recent member of the band and has really made a difference since joining in 2005. It had to be a task winning over the fans of the long standing Tim Mallare but he has surely stepped up on his playing game and brought the proper fire to the band. Bobby would joke and kid with the assembled crowd several times this evening and it added some personality to the gig. He is a man who appreciates his fans and at the end of the day all of the guys in the band are like this. They are true legends to the Thrash Metal movement but it has never seemed to go to their heads. Sometimes he would direct lines to the crowd as if it was conversation between him and Verni and a lot of it made people chuckle which was nice to find happening. The tunes all seemed to focus on the legacy classics as the night drew closer to its end with the occasional newer tune being delivered. He said that the audience was a great mix of those who knew the history and those who they were making history with this evening. It was true because if you glanced around when the lights were up you would see that the audience was an interesting mix of both older fans and younger. That was great to see since each grouping was mingling and interacting with each other with no incident.
Even though I love what I have heard from the new album, it’s the classics that matter most to me from this band and they put them out with full throttle force as the night ended. We got everything that we expected from “Elimination” to “Wrecking Crew” and “Hello From The Gutter”. They closed with their standard “F**k You” but surprised the fans by switching to ACDC’s “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” where they were joined by Accept’s Mark Tornillo. It was a rocking surprise. Also something worth mentioning is that they were selling a t-shirt that showcased the bomb threat situation from last year. I didn’t manage to get a photo of it but it said something to the effect of “I Survived” and Overkill. This shirt sold out very quickly and is sure to be one of the more collectible ones from the band. Closing up, it was once again a rousing show and one that I am glad to have attended. Overkill never disappoints and I look forward to their doing another show in the region soon.
Accept Set List:
1. Teutonic Terror
2. Bucket Full Of Hate
5. Losers And Winners
6. Metal Heart
8. Up To The Limit
9. Fast As A Shark
10. Balls To The Wall
Overkill Set List:
1. The Green and Black
2. E.vil N.ever D.ies
3. Rotten To The Core
5. Bring Me The Night
6. Bastard Nation
9. Give A Little
10. Deny The Cross
11. Wrecking Crew
13. Old School
15. Hello From The Gutter
16. Fuck You
17. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
18. Fuck You – closing
Bands like Accept and Overkill need to be experienced live to be best appreciated and since I’ve been employing the occasional use of the Official YouTube Channel for PiercingMetal, the time was right to let you see what you should NOT be missing while these bands are still active. First up is Accept performing “Fast As A Shark”. Enjoy.
Sorry about a couple of shuffle’s in the visual, we were not at all close and there were other fans moving all around me. Next up is the closing section of “Balls To The Wall”. I shot this since the whole audience was singing along and it was rather awesome to be one of the masses screaming for the band.
The Accept clips were shot with the Panasonic Lumix and I just had to get something of Overkill but I had misplaced my set notes and was not sure where we were in the set now or how close we were until the end so I ended up with a couple. I was now in the way back of the venue and while the quality could have been better for this kind of offering, the inclusion is here to spark you into buying their albums and supporting their shows. This band kills like no other. First up is “Wrecking Crew”. A great number from the bands early days.
I’ve long considered their “Old School” song to be a commercial effort and while some might hate it, there are those that enjoy it. It has a quirky fun to it, and here you go. You be the judge.
Here’s a little “Elimination” from the bands fantastic “Years Of Decay” album. Many moons ago, in another life, I opened up a show for the band on this original tour at the now shuttered but still famous L’Amour’s club.
“Hello From The Gutter” was the next clip I caught and to my knowledge this was the first official Overkill video, or at least the first one they did with a little bit of backing to the project. Great song to this very day.
Now we were where I thought I was a few songs ago and that meant the closer of the night. The band usually ended their set with “F**k You” which is a tune originally done by The Stiffs. The great thing about the tune this evening was that the band broke into “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” and were joined by Mark Tornillo of Accept for the verse. The whole audience sang along as well which was no surprise.
If these don’t convince you to catch Overkill and Accept live I am afraid you are following the wrong genre and you should seek professional help 🙂