OVERKILL / KREATOR / WARBRINGER
Date: 06th November, 2013
Ticket: $27 (€20)
The billing of this tour is the one and only reason for any Thrash-head to spend an entire evening banging his head like there is no tomorrow. The killer mix of US and German Thrash is a guarantee to have fun, even though personally I am not a die-hard fan of co-headlining tours, simply because you cannot decide where to spend most of your Metal energy. Plus, the constant change of in the headliner’s position can add some frustration because one cannot divide his fun time between the first and the last band, while the first one traditionally gets less attention.
There was a confusion about the starting time of the show, so we decided the arrival time at Mojoe’s based on the info from the venue that talked about 08:30pm show-starting time. So, arriving at 08:20pm I was expecting to see the stage getting ready for WARBRINGER but instead, everything was set up for KREATOR. This was such a shame because WARBRINGER are great live and this time were backed up by the killer “IV: Empires Collapse” release. On the other hand, having more time than scheduled for the two headliners seemed to be very promising.
That night in Joliet it was KREATOR’s turn to open the Thrash festivities, so the stage was prepped with the “Phantom Antichrist” aesthetics, with use of PAs on the back and customized lights. The audience was really pumped up for the show and the moment the “Mars Mantra” intro kicked in, everything was up and ready for the Germans. Under the blinding light of the white spotlights (those made it really hard to take good quality photos), KREATOR showed up onstage and started the Thrash festivities with “Phantom Antichrist” leaving on the side any warming-up. The audience immediately responded with mosh-pitting, headbanging and occasional crowd-surfing that gave the bouncers a hard time. Mille was energized as always but was also pissed off with his mic that didn’t want to cooperate when he tried to greet the Joliet crowd by creating the high-pitched and ultra-annoying feedback. But this kind of stuff happens in live shows, right? Anyway, this was a minor glitch for us (but huge for the perfectionist Mille) and “Warcurse” got us back to the German Thrash assault, followed by the oldie “Endless Pain”.
The onstage-time was adjusted to the requirements of a co-headlining billing, and KREATOR tried to make the most of it by adding song segments, so this tone had the intro for “Coma Of Souls”. “Joliet, are you read to kill?” asked Mille twice and everyone understood it was time for “Pleasure To Kill”. After the always current “Hordes Of Chaos (A Necrologue For The Elite)”, it was time for a surprise, so Mille soloed a little bit to give some time to Ventor to fix his mic because it was time to dive deeper in the past with “Riot Of Violence”. More than 15 years had passed since the last time I enjoyed this song live, so it felt extremely special. Apparently, Ventor still got the lungs and the stamina to deliver this one like he did in the past, so additional kudos to the German drummer. “Religion separates people but music gets everyone together” were the words of truth that Mille used to introduce the fast and riff-based “Enemy Of God”. Up to this point the sound was a little bit muffled under the louder double bass drum and ultra-loud bass (at least for everyone standing in front of stage-right), but during this one everything was balanced. In a certain point, it kind of felt a bit of annoying that I was not able to understand when the first tunes of “Phobia” kicked in due to that over-congested bass-dominant sound, but I’m sure that the rest of the metalheads didn’t give a dime, since the crowd-surfing festivities continued in a wave-y pace, making the security-guys’ lives really difficult. Yes, ladies and gents, this is how Joliet Thrash things up in all-ages shows!
Sami Yli-Sirniö delivered his guitar part with the usual precision and impressive ease, while Christian Giesler looked for the most part of the setlist kind of tired and hence stationary. So, Mille took the show on his shoulders and provoked the US metalheads with his trademark poses and the cleverly chosen words. An acoustic guitar was set up at stage-left and Sami delivered a nice solo but, to tell you the truth, this seemed a little out of place, even though I understand this was a needed break for the rest of the band. Anyway, that did not last long and passed the baton to “United In Hate” and “Civilization Collapse” getting everyone back on Thrashing around course. Just before dropping the curtain, Mille showed up waving the “Flag Of Hate” flag saying that “Every nation has a flag and this is ours”. Yeah, it was time to look at KREATOR’s past with the double treat of “Flag Of Hate” and “Tormentor” and I think the latter sounded a little more explosive.
Honestly, I would have been surprised if KREATOR delivered something less than a killer show. Ok, the band looked a little bit tired by the constant touring, but there were no comprises and in the end of the show absolutely no complaints. See you next time, guys!
01. “Phantom Antichrist”
02. “From Flood Into Fire”
04. “Coma Of Souls” / “Endless Pain”
05. “Pleasure To Kill”
06. “Hordes Of Chaos (A Necrologue For The Elite)”
07. “Riot Of Violence”
08. “Enemy Of God”
10. “The Patriarch”
11. “Violent Revolution”
12. “United In Hate”
13. “Civilization Collapse”
14. “Flag Of Hate” / “Tormentor”
(click to enlarge)
Yeah, KREATOR delivered a great and solid setlist, so usually I would have been wondering if the next band would be able to play better and harder. In most of the cases, that would have been impossible, since there are not many bands strong enough to bounce back after KREATOR. But next was not an average band but the mighty OVERKILL who are well-known for their nuclear-bomb explosive shows. Indeed, Blitz can squeeze the last drop of energy with his ultra-energetic performance and that’s not my opinion, but a solid fact.
What looked to be a huge turn-off that night was the stage preparations that I think lasted almost 45 minutes. I mean, all the momentum gathered during the KREATOR show started quickly to fade away as the crew was running up and down setting up the drums, the lights and the rest of the OVERKILL set. This would be more bearable, if it was on a Friday or a Saturday evening, but being at the middle of a working week could take some of the fun away. Anyway, this was a Blitz-fronted band, so I put all my trust on his frenetic presence for taking away all of my waiting-pain. And man, was I right! The lights were dimmed and the oldie “Deny The Cross” made us quickly forget the ridiculously longer than usual stage preparations, getting quickly into a climax via the fast drum action and Blitz’s trademark way of singing. Bodies started flying right away and it was clearly a perfect night for some more violent fun following the KREATOR’s Teutonic Thrash. No pause and “Bring Me The Night” continued on the same adrenaline pumped course, while it was nice hearing the young on average US audience singing the chorus lines. The bass lines are equally important with the guitar in OVERKILL’s killer sound, so it was once again a pleasure watching DD delivering the goods in his most characteristic way. Dave Linsk and Derek Tailer did their guitar magic, while Ron Ripnicki looked like a beast on steroids topping off the in-your-face OVERKILL performance.
“My heart beats faster whenever we play in Chicago” said Blitz (even though we were in Joliet) before hitting us with another blast from the past entitled “Hammerheard”. I don’t know if you’re in a position to see/hear the differences between the German and the US Thrash, but that night in Joliet was the perfect crash-course to get educated on this. It was time to burn faster the energy left inside the tank of the already sweaty audience in Mojoe’s and the Punk-esque “Rotten To The Core” was the best way to do this. I love the main-riff and the bass-driven break where DD took care some of the leading singing. During “Hello From The Gutter” there were some issues with Derek’s guitar, but fortunately this had no impact in the band’s performance, so the bodies kept flying non-stop, a fact that Blitz described in the best way: “You cannot overdose for this stuff”.
“I can smell you but I cannot hear you” added the gifted frontman before provoking the Blackhawks fans saying: “Look at you, the Stanley Cup champions” affirming Blitz’s love for hockey (do not forget that this is the reason of the black and green dominating colors in OVERKILL). Maybe there was an attempt to make up for the time lost during the stage preparations, so the in-between songs breaks were limited and the intro of my personal favorite “Necroshine” had to be sacrificed. That was an almost turn-off for me, simply because the tension built the riff/loop-based intro makes the bass/drums assault a rare Thrash delight. Still, the song was executed in pure perfection and there is always a way to find more fuel in your already depleted tank to headbang and mosh during the fast break of “Necroshine”. And that was exactly the case inside Mojoe’s where you could not find a single head not banging during the addictive bass-driven groove.
The amazing riff and the sing-along opening lyrics marked the time for “Overkill” that sounded absolutely fantastic and saw more people getting into the mosh-pit leaving “Elimination” to drop the curtain for the first time. Honestly, I’d prefer that OVERKILL would have skipped the encore tradition since the Thrash flow from getting the songs back to back was awesome (ok, and a little bit painful). So, in the end I think it was good for everyone getting some time to breathe inside the sauna of Mojoe’s that had already a different climate from the outside world. OVERKILL did return onstage and hit us with the bass-based and ultra-badass “Horrorscope”. Blitz nailed the vocal lines (as always) before inviting everyone to close the show with bang screaming along the chorus of famous THE SUBHUMANS cover where it’s perfectly ok to throw the finger on your favorite band, shouting “Fuck you!”.
Everyone looked tired but extremely happy after witnessing two great Thrash bands from the two sides of the Atlantic Ocean. I am sure my experience would have been better: a) if I had watched WARBRINGER and b) if the break after KREATOR was shorter, but the reality is that this was a hell-of-a touring package and I wish to see more in the same vein. I cannot wait to see what OVERKILL are working on with in the studio, so I guess we will have another US tour coming our way! Bring it on!
01. “Deny The Cross”
02. “Bring Me The Night”
03. “Electric Rattlesnake”
05. “Rotten To The Core”
06. “Hello From The Gutter”
09. “Thanx For Nothin'”
13. “Fuck You”
(click to enlarge)