Concert Review: Overkill – O2 Islington, London
This was my last show in England and I really couldn’t have asked for a better band to end my four-year experience of attending regular concerts. Overkill is one of my long time favorites and they always put on a great energetic show. The O2 Islington in London was the place; the same as last year. So, I thought I would spice things up a bit by standing on the opposite side of the stage this time ;) I very much enjoyed the view of Derek “The Skull” Tailer in 2011, but this time I got to watch the marvelous guitar solos of Dave Linsk and up close and personal bass playing of D. D. Verni.
This year, Overkill brought along representatives from around the world. First up was a band from Sweden called Degraded. I never heard them before, but after their short set they seemed like a band worth further exploration. Overall, they were not too heavy and certainly not an in-your-face kind of band. They had a good mix of tempos, but not overall extreme by any means. Next on stage was Purified in Blood from Norway. They were quite ferocious bordering on Hardcore; quite the opposite from Degraded. They were quite aggressive and I thought it was cool when the vocalist decided to take it upon himself to jump in the pit and get things started. Up to this point, the London crowd was quite tame and somewhat sparse. Little did I know they were saving their energy for Overkill. Here is a video for your viewing/listening pleasure.
From Canada, eh, comes 3 Inches of Blood. I have been hearing a lot about these guys, but never really took the time to give them a listen. I dig them and after seeing their set bought their most recent album. They played a good live set and the crowd really started to warm up and start moving in a semi violent circular fashion.
I did start to recognize some of their songs which I previously sampled on YouTube. Based on my limited knowledge of the band, I can safely say that their live performance is spot on.
This was my fourth time seeing the Thrash masters Overkill. One of the things I love about seeing this band is that they do not limit themselves to playing the same songs every time they tour. I looked at the set lists from Killfest 2011 and 2012 and although about half the set was the same, they played some songs I never thought I would see live. Of course, they do have concert staples such as Rotten to the Core, Fuck You, Hello from the Gutter, and Elimination. I was a bit surprised to see them play It Lives, Thunderhead, Coma, and especially Who Tends the Fire, and The Wait (New High in Lows). I appreciate how you watch an Overkill show and you can’t really predict which songs they are going to play.
They do, of course, have to promote the new material. The show opened with Come and Get it and Bring me the Night, both high energy songs. I think this was just what the crowd needed because from this moment on it was a sea of circle pits and crowd surfing…more than I have ever seen before at a smaller club-style venue in England. Other new songs played early on were Save Yourself and Electric Rattlesnake. I think the biggest surprise to me was hearing Powersurge. That was my favorite Overkill song many many moons ago.
Killfest 2012 was a great time. All four bands brought something to the table and made for a cool well-rounded night of pure energetic metal. The venue is up close and personal which is a great way to see one of my favorite bands.