Gig reviews: Overkill presents Killfest 2019
On Sunday March 24th, I descended upon the Glasgow SWG3 venue in the TV Studio room for a night of thrash metal goodness. This was kind of a last minute gig for me as I only found out about it the Friday before on Facebook so I scrambled to buy a ticket which thankfully wasn't yet sold out.
This was my first time in this particular part of the venue as I'd only been in the larger room for a Powerwolf gig in January (joined by site owner Joanne, link to her review here: ) and this room was about half the size of that room and made for a better sound overall in my opinion. Although after being there and standing almost right next to the speakers, I would definitely advise on wearing some sort of ear protection, because I sure as hell didn't and was half deaf the next couple of days. Lesson learned and warning passed on.
So now onto the bands and we have three bands in total here, starting with Flotsam and Jetsam
Flotsam and Jetsam are an American thrash metal band that formed in 1981, just a year after our headlining act. They are a band I wasn't too familiar aside from knowing that their bassist from 1981 to 1986 was former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted as he left the band to replace the at the time recently deceased Cliff Burton (RIP).
The band started of well with their first 2 tracks Prisoner of Time and Desecrator, but had a bit of a struggle with getting a crowd that was unfamiliar with them into the tracks, but due to just a great musical performance with soaring guitar solos that Iron Maiden would be jealous of, the crowd quickly came around. Mosh pits and a ton of crowd surfing followed (man that kept his pint intact, my hat is off to you) as the cheering and reactions grew louder and louder as the band became visibly more comfortable onstage, even bantering with Overkill's crew who were viewing from the side of the stage. It was a pretty a short set with 8 songs played in total, but it left me wondering why a band that has been around for so long is stuck on a gig opener like this. I could easily see these guys on headlining tours having an absolute blast and earning more fans along the way. The made one with me on this night.
Band tracks to download: Iron Maiden (not a cover), Hammerhead, No Place for Disgrace
Next up was Destruction.
Destruction as are a German thrash metal band formed in 1982. Out of the 3 bands on this bill this was the only band I had never heard of before and researching them I've found that they are considered part of a 'Big Four' of German thrash metal with Tankard, Sodom, and Kreator. I'm aware of these bands so it's strange that I've never come across Destruction. Due to the last minute purchase of a ticket I didn't have the time to familiarise myself with any of their work and was essentially going in blind for the first time in a while.
It was obvious that the crowd was aware of the band as you could hear the excitement in the room with the set up of their equipment, complete with microphone stands that had flaming skulls on them because why the hell not? I think these guys may be the reason why I went slightly deaf for a bit as their set was pretty damn loud with duelling guitars and a booming bass right next to my left ear. This set was just chaotic in the best possible way as these guys played for around an hour with barely any stoppage time between tracks and the pace was just so fast and furious that I could barely keep up with it. Every track played was an absolute headbanger and the mosh pits were largest I'd seen all night. The whole show was practically stolen here and I'm pretty sure I heard a wall crashing down next door due to the sheer impact of the songs. If the gig had ended here, I would have walked home satisfied with my night and now I have a new band to check out and enjoy. I'm going to relish the chance to see them again. Check them out if you haven't already.
Band tracks to download: Release from Agony, Nailed to the Cross, The Butcher Strikes Back
And finally we have the headliners: Overkill
I recently reviewed the band's most recent album Wings of War (link here: ) which I still love and was my main reason for buying a ticket. After the onslaught of Destruction, I didn't think Overkill would be able to match up, but all doubts were erased from my mind when the band rushed the stage to recent single Last Man Standing and blew everyone away. Bobby Ellsworth's vocals blew me away as he's as good singing live as he is in the studio. Even when talking to the audience between songs there was just this intensity to his voice that demanded attention. I did notice that he ran off the back of the stage quite a few times during the more instrumental moments and I wouldn't be surprised if he had to quickly rest his voice for the next bit of screeching. The latest album was presented well in the form of the previously mentioned Last Man Standing, Distortion, and fantastic set closer Welcome to the Garden State. Seriously, I couldn't get that song out of my head for ages. Classic songs from the band's past were in full force like the thrashy goodness of Elimination, the crowd singalong of Hello from the Gutter and the fury that was Mean Green, Killing Machine. For the encore they even managed to pack in what has become my favourite song of theirs: Ironbound and it sounds like it was meant to be played before a live crowd. Overkill proved why they are one of the best bands going in the thrash metal scene and they are bringing it screaming back with a vengeance.
Band tracks to download: All the ones I just mentioned
Overall I had a blast at this gig as all three gave me my moneys worth and the ticket price was actually very good for a show like this as I would have paid even more for the experience. I do advise to check out all three bands if you're a fan of thrash metal or even if you're just looking for something new to try out.