Overkill: ‘The Grinding Wheel’ tour

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Overkill: ‘The Grinding Wheel’ tour

New Jersey’s very own Overkill is on their second ever tour in Australia and I think it’s safe to say they were welcomed with arms wide open at 170 Russell on Friday night. Overkill have been a highly influential band for the metal scene since 1980 and Australia got to be reminded exactly why that is for the first time in eight years after their debut tour here in 2010.
Direblaze and Harlott were the perfect supports for the high energy Melbourne show with their classic thrashy sound and their own original flavours to bring to the genre. As a Direblaze fan, I can confidently say that they put on an extremely powerful start to the gig and were to sure to get the crowd drinking beers and going crazy right away.
Shortly after, thrash metal giants Harlott brought an extreme new feel to the show with their dark, melodic riffs tied in with that signature thrash metal sound which got both the younger crowd and the amazing Overkill oldies moshing and having a great time together. In my opinion, Harlott were the best warm up act for the fast, heavy and disrespectful Overkill.
Overkill came on stage with the most insane energy I’ve ever seen come from a thrash metal band. Opening with ‘Mean, Green, Killing Machine’, they instantly had everyone in the venue banging their heads and slamming into each other whilst shouting the lyrics. The setlist was pure gold, ranging from classics to newer tracks that had people of different age groups shouting the words together. My favourite tracks from the set to see live was a mixture of both earlier and later material such as ‘Coma’ and ‘Hammerhead’ from back in the day all the way to ‘Goddamn Trouble’ and ‘Electric Rattlesnake’, there was a couple of songs that I was bummed to miss out on but with a discography such as theirs, that’s a given. Oh, they even covered Motorhead’s ‘Overkill’ and The Submans ‘Fuck You’, which featured everyone in the venue flipping each other off and banging their heads.
To wrap things up, Overkill were the best thrash metal band I’ve ever seen in my life, drummer Jason Bittner was the tightest drummer in the genre I’ve seen to date, Dave Linsk had absolutely crushing solos and probably the best tone I’ve heard come from a peavey head, D.D Verni killed it on the bass with precise speed and accuracy, that classic Overkill clicky yet heavy bass tone and the energy of 58 year old vocalist Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellsworth was incredible. Whilst stating that he feels 55 again he was completely dominating the show with his on point, evil vocals and attitude that got every fan in the venue having the best time of their lives. If you missed Overkill this tour, don’t make the same mistake again.
When: Friday March 2
Where: 170 Russell, Melbourne, Australia
Supports: Harlott, Direblaze
Reviewed by Nathan Mossop