Overkill @ Mojoes, Joliet (US)

OVERKILL / PRONG

Date: 21st September, 2014
Venue: Mojoes
Ticket: $23 (€18) in advance / $25 (€19.50) day of show
Promoter: n/a


MariaV: It was a really nice autumnal and kind of chilly Sunday, so under regular conditions, there would be absolutely no reason to leave your comfy couch and get out there. I mean, who can resist a hearty meal and then some in-house quality time? Well, if OVERKILL are in town, then the previous argument is void and there is no place for thinking of the possible choices; after all, who can say ‘no’ to some good Thrash? So, after an in-person interview with PRONG’s mastermind Tommy Victor, it was time to enter Mojoes and see a really nice turnout with maybe 300 faces (it’s rather tough to estimate because during the breaks, there are a lot of metalheads standing outside to have a couple of smokes).

Everything was up and ready following the schedule, so around 9:10pm, the lights went out and the main theme of the legendary spaghetti Western film “For A Few Dollars” marked the time for the PRONG Hardcore-meets-Thrash kind of breed. But the stage monitors had a different opinion and during the first songs of the set, they made the life of Tommy and Jason really tough and, in fact, the PRONG bassist quickly became totally pissed off and wanted his monitor out of the way. Fortunately, this band vs stage monitors issue was resolved (I guess they were turned off) and PRONG became focused just on playing music. So, “Ruining Lives” saw some singing-along action, even though the crowd’s reaction was not as enthusiastic as Jason would have wanted, so he started provoking the metalheads in a Punk-way. Tommy said “We would appreciate to see some people moving on this” before “#4” and judging by how the audience reacted, especially during the groovy part, I think his words had an impact. I believe the stage-monitors incident had some effect on the crowd too but the band’s persistence and the fast songs quickly turned the tables. Apparently, and to the surprise of the band, there were a couple of girls that started a nice mosh-pit earning Jason’s acknowledgement (and then of the other two band members), so the atmosphere got as violent as it should for the PRONG hit “Snap Your Fingers, Snap You Neck” with loud singing-along and the trademark pushing around. Tommy looked in a really good mood during the entire set and despite the lousy start, spearheaded the PRONG onstage performance with a lot of jumping up and down without missing a chord or a lead from his guitar playing. Drummer Art Cruz sweated his arse off with the constant pounding, while Jason kept pushing the audience to join the festivities with the kind of Hardcore attitude I missed seeing on a show. “Ladies, please take care of the pit”, said Victor and after introducing his bandmates, dropped the curtain with “Power Of The Damager”. Yeah, everything was looking at the right temperature and mood for the New Jersey Thrash veterans, so kudos to PRONG for their hard work.

PRONG setlist:

01. “For Dear Life”
02. “Unconditional”
03. “Ruining Lives”
04. “Cut-Rate”
05. “Revenge… Best Served Cold”
06. “Turnover”
07. “Another Worldly Device”
08. “Snap Your Fingers, Snap You Neck”
09. “Power Of The Damager”

PRONG

Prong @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Prong @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Prong @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Prong @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)

Prong @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Prong @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Prong @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Prong @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)

(click to enlarge)


DimK: The stage preparations took more than they should, so it was some minutes after 10:30pm when the lights were dimmed but – once again – there was something wrong. For whatever the reason, the taped-intro refused to play, so after some awkward waiting, OVERKILL decided to skip this and entered the stage with the massive “Armorist”. Who cares about fancy intros and whatnot when a solid lineup is able to skip the warming up and get into the Thrash/groove/headbanging mood at no time? I mean, can you really resist from getting busy the moment Blitz starts rushing towards the mic stand? My goodness, every time I watch him entering the stage like this, I feel my blood pumping at similar bpms with OVERKILL’s music. And I was not the only one feeling like this because the metalheads inside Mojoes went bananas with “Overkill” and it was spine-chilling hearing Blitz’s high-pitched screams. I have no idea how he is doing this but his voice is still young and appears to ignore the abuse and the constant smoking behind the amps (I don’t think the e-cigarette is sparing the vocal chords).

“It’s really good seeing you, motherfuckers” said Blitz before letting “Electric Rattlesnake” do the rest of the work. The lights turned green (the favorite OVERKILL color) as the guitar duo of Linsk and Tailer was shooting like a well-oiled machinegun the massive riffs under the tempo guidance of D.D. and the caged animal Ron. Without pausing, “Wrecking Crew” saw more action and - of course - more headbanging, following the simple yet-most effective Punk-based chords and the steady drumming that is on the right tempo for all the Thrash violent fun. “That’s what I am talking about”, concluded Blitz seeing the crowd’s reaction before letting the massive groove of “Black Daze” doing more damage. By the way, his voice sounded awesome during the high-pitched screams and the more melodic chorus, so his vocal chords must be nicotine-resistant of sorts. The old met the young with the killer duet of “Rotten To The Core” and “Bring Me The Night” teaching for those who didn’t know it that a living band has to continue making music and then supporting it live. You see, there are not many longtime running bands out there that have the cojones to write good music and then perform it live, and OVERKILL is proudly one of them. I think it’s the right moment to quote Blitz’s words that followed “End Of The Line” that was also one of the set’s highlight: “We play good for a bunch of old guys, right? Shall we continue this madness?” This was the only slower moment of the night during which Dave started soloing a bit but not for long because this led to another killer OVERKILL tune that was quickly introduced by the massive bass groove (another trademark for the New Jersey raised band).

Like I said, OVERKILL always support/promote their new songs and my favorite in-your-face Punk Thrasher “Pig” was part of the set and was welcomed by some crowd-surfing that topped off the visual aspect of this gig. Before this one, Bobby congratulated the fans for topping the top 40 billboard chart because it was them who did it and not the band. Yes, this is how a band shows the appreciation to those who are keeping things going and alive, so I hope young musicians are learning for occasions like these. I am glad that are still bands who lead by example and not just theory-talking...

The microphone did not withstand the abuse, so a short break was in order to take care of this and then uncle Bobby (yeah, I consider Blitz at the same ‘uncle’ status as Lemmy) dedicated “Ironbound” to all the fans who have stood by the band “for the good and the bad (microphones)”. This was the end of the regular setlist but everyone knew that every OVERKILL set must contain a loud ‘fuck you’ before calling it a night. So, after a lot of cheering, the band returned with “Bitter Pill” that is another new-album favorite of mine; the galloping rhythm section and the granite solid bass lines of this one are perfect to get everyone back to moshing mode at no time. Bobby took a boxer’s stance as an unofficial introduction to “Elimination” that sounded and ‘looked’ awesome under the red lights. “There are two things you have to know about New Jersey; us and this” said Bobby showing his middle finger in a live representation of the cover artwork of the same titled EP of the late 80s. Yeah, it was time for the legendary THE SUBHUMANS cover and the lyrics are still applicable to anyone who wants to force-feed society with the kind of norms some people think they are ‘best’ for us.

I really cannot remember how many times I have seen OVERKILL live (in Europe and the US) but what I do remember is the stiff neck and the harsh voice I have the next day. In other words, each and every time the New Jersey boys deliver the Thrash goods and then some, keeping the Thrash spirit and attitude alive and kicking.

"eliminate the right
eliminate the wrong
eliminate the weak
eliminate the strong
eliminate your feelings
eliminate too late
eliminate the hope
eliminate, eliminate"

OVERKILL setlist:

01. “Armorist”
02. “Overkill”
03. “Electric Rattlesnake”
04. “Wrecking Crew”
05. “Black Daze”
06. “Rotten To The Core”
07. “Bring Me The Night”
08. “End Of The Line”
09. “Long Time Dyin’”
10. “Under One”
11. “Pig”
12. “Hello From The Gutter”
13. “Ironbound”
14. “Bitter Pill”
15. “Elimination”
16. “Fuck You”

OVERKILL

Overkill @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Overkill @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Overkill @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Overkill @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Overkill @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)
Overkill @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Overkill @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Overkill @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Overkill @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Overkill @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)
Overkill @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Overkill @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Overkill @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Overkill @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Overkill @ Mojoes (US) (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)

(click to enlarge)