Monday, September 15, 2014

Overkill / GI9 / Blunt Force Rebellion / Nomad @ Empire 9/11/2014

I went to see Overkill  at Empire ($25). They were the only touring band, and there were a number of locals that differed from the billed local bands. I did see a lot of friends there- Ariel y hombre, Sean, Nathan w/ a J, Miss Lindsey, Marie (and Rolland later!), Greekgirl, Dave, Kevin, and Bryan, Luke, Marysol, Marc, Dorothy, Kyler (crowdsurfing CITY), and Metal Chris. WHEW.

Overkill, saying hi from the gutter
As I entered, I saw a lot of people inside, apparently Overkill as the only touring band was still a pretty good draw. I think there were about several hundred people there at the high water mark. It was pretty crowded, but not so much so that one couldn't get around. A band was playing when I got there, but I missed one before that was purportedly not great.

We are the merching crew

Over at the merchandise booth,Overkill had a ton of stuff to buy - about 20 or so shirts, hoodies, a jersey, CDs, a foam finger (similar to Stone Cold Steve Austin's famous merch) a scarf, etc. I couldn't believe how much merch they had! Shirts were 25$- 30$ ($20 for the last year's shirt at Empire). Blunt Force Rebellion had a shirt with Frankenstein's monster on it and a very cute and energetic girl at the merch booth.

Bachs of Rock II

Nomad was on while I got there , and the very young frontman looked very familiar. I later found out it was the same young lad from Bachs of Rock. He's like 14, and I was told he was playing with a set of different kids. They sounded decently tight, but their hard rock was a different vibe from what most of the crowd was probably here to see. I heard from people who were there before I was that their Black Sabbath cover was pretty great. I got there in time to hear their Led Zeppelin cover tune- a very slowed down "Immigrant Song," which almost ruined it for me. It felt like everything was being played in sloooow motion. It sped up near the middle/end, back to regular speed which made it decent again. Their AC/DC cover seemed to kind of go on, but didn't sound bad. I thought their set was decent and these kids are pretty talented, but to get over with the crowd I think they should maybe have picked more heavier or harder edged tunes to go with "War Pigs." I didn't hate their set, apart from the lacking Led Zep cover. I think what also affect my enjoyment was hanging out near the Overkill and Blunt Force Rebellion merch table, where the very vocal BFR fan was perched precariously on top of a stool and shrieking and throwing the horns. Throughout the entire set. I thought it was great she was having a blast, but I couldn't figure out how she wasn't losing her balance from standing on that stool. I think other people were off put by her enthusiasm. At the time I thought it was a bit... extra... but looking at it now, I can't fault people for having a good time!

No one was LAID TO REST during their set

Blunt Force Rebellion, a new band that handed out an EP after a recent show at Empire, was up next. They must have played their whole EP, but I only picked out "The Raid." I thought the EP had a bit of energy, and then when I saw a stage full of camo- face painted guys looking a bit intense I was wondering how they'd go over live. The massively bearded skinny frontman was particularly wild looking, garbed in some sort of tac-vest. They started out loud and fast and didn't seem to let up. I thought they had good stage presence and sounded heavy enough and had a good groove. The guitar leads could have been louder and a bit more precise, as they seemed to be a bit... off... at times. The crowd was pretty into it and the floor was not approachable.  The frontman was disapproving of the crowd a couple times, for not being loud enough (I think it was something along the lines of "EMPIRE! YOU GUYS SUCK!"), which I didn't appreciate. Something about the way he said it, the usual "hey guys get loud" comments were a bit more biting. They closed their set with an energetic Lamb of God cover (with crowd participation but lacking some guitar licks). Overall these guys show potential, just need to lighten up their attacking the crowd mentality and practice those solos a bit more.

GI9, whom I last seen at an L.A. Guns show, was right before Overkill. I recall them being underwhelming then, and they were not remarkable this time. The singer, like last time, was also pretty clear and sang well, but the songs were just not there for me. I heard a couple songs, and couldn't get into them, and retreated back to hang out with people. I can't say much else, other than that their set was pretty long.

More people ROTTEN to the CORE than usual at Empire

Thrash legends Overkill finally headlined around 10:30. The energy BFR brought seemed to be picked back up, as the floor was constantly full of moshers. This was the third time that I've seen Overkill and definitely the best. The other Two times (2013 headline, 2013) they were a bit off, and Bobby Blitz was ill on one of those dates.  This time, they brought the metal and the energy that I think other people have raved about them live! Their setlist was pretty different, with some standards, some new songs, and some deep cuts (although no "Feel the Fire," Ariel!)! There were several songs played live for the first time, as this was the first stop for this tour. People were amped for some great thrash tonight!

They Brought the Night

More than a few people were getting banged around in the pit, but everyone was seeming to have a good time. I thought that "Wrecking Crew," "Rotten to the Core," and "IronBound" were my top tracks this evening. I hadn't heard their new album more than once, so the 5 new songs they played sounded good, but I wasn't INTO into them. There were some older cuts that I barely remembered but were gems to hear! They've got so many albums, it must be such a chore to choose a setlist!
Initially I thought $25 was a little steep for basically Overkill alone. But with all the friends (some that I hadn't seen in a while) and the great energy, I thought it was totally worth coming out. That and Overkill had a redeeming performance!

Next show: Skeletonwitch      
Nomad (8ish- 8:33) (I saw from 8:10-end)
  • War Pigs (Black Sabbath Cover)
  • Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin cover)
  • Let there be Rock (AC/DC cover)
  • ?
Blunt Force Rebellion (9:11- 9:45)
  • ?
  • ?
  • ?
  • The Raid
  • Laid to Rest (Lamb of God cover)
GI9 (9:30- 10ish)
  • ?
Overkill (10:30 - 12:02)
  • XDM
  • Armorist
  • Overkill
  • Electric Rattlesnake
  • Wrecking Crew
  • Black Daze
  • Rotten to the Core
  • Bring Me the Night
  • End of the Line
  • Long Time Dyin'
  • Under One
  • Pig
  • Hello From the Gutter
  • Ironbound

  • Bitter Pill
  • Elimination
  • Fuck You(The Subhumans cover)