Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Overkill / Symphony X / Ghost of War @ Fillmore Silver Spring 10/16/2015

I went to see Overkill ($28.75) with Symphony X and Ghost of War at the Fillmore, Silver Spring. I saw Annie, Dan, Dave and Kevin, Erin and Ti, Ariel and Ilem, James, Dwayne, Kyler, Lisa, Dorothy, Lindsey and Blake, Kris, Gonzalo, Marie,Navid, Marc and Marysol, Allie an Nathan, Sean, Jason, and Sara.

There was a pretty decent crowd, but nowhere near sold out, for this power and thrash lineup. There were still several hundred people there, but the balcony remained closed. I'm just glad it was at the Fillmore, where it is way more accessible (even if the ticket price is a little higher)

The Merch of Merches
Hello From the Merch Booth

Overkill had a bit of merch, but I recall Symphony X's bland merch was pretty disappointing. I was really surprised there weren't more power metally designs. I didn't get anything.

Juan, Represent!

Localish metal band Ghost of War opened the evening, which featured their new guitarist Juan Colon (represent!). The lighting was pretty miserable during their set, so I barely got any decent photos. I thought that GoW sounded about as good as they always have, perhaps augmented by the Fillmore's great sound system. I don't think the crowd was that into them until the end of their set. They closed with their cover of Dream Theater's "Pull Me Under," which the crowd either loved or hated. I think another aspect was the Jagermeister sponsorship that some people commented on as being... a bit overt. I can't blame them for having a sponsor and certain dutires related to that, but I know some crowd members were a bit perplexed at all the merch spots (throwing 'free' items to the crowd).

Russell Allen, 2 Mikes( Mike Pinnella, Mike Lepond) and phones

Symphony X went on close to 9 PM, and certainly brought it. They were promoting their new kind of not great album Underworld. I thought their previous, Iconoclast. was far superior. In any event, I was sure the songs would sound better live... right? This too many Michaels band (Michael Romero on guitars, Michael Lepond on bass, an Michael Pinnella on keys) was on point and you really couldn't fault them technically. Frontman Russell Allen was doing his partially lame and partially silly dancing during instrumental passages. I believe someone menioned that it looked like a "Billy Dee Williams" dance... works every time.

Kane Mask and cane

Black and White Mask
Guy in Shadows

Symphony X was a bit more theatrical than either other band on this evening. Russell was a bit of a showman with different masks, miming, smoke/steam projectors, and some gargoyles on stage (maybe those were Overkill's?). Sir Russell Allen had a red "Kane" mask for "To Hell and Back," and a black and white one for "Set the World on Fire." He had a cane or the mic stand that he mimed rowing like the mythical boatman Charon in his boat, for the song of the same name, "Charon." Actually there was some guy in a robe too, Charon???

The Derp of Derps

Adrenaline X

Seven out of the 12 songs in their set were the first seven tracks from Underworld. There were some older songs ("Of Sins and Shadows(!)") and some standards ("Set the World on Fire") to round out the set. It was odd not hearing the lengthy epic "The Odyssey" close out their set, but in a way it was nice to have variety and not the same old thing every time (*cough cough*Kix*cough cough*). I thought the newest tracks did sound better live, but I still think it was still one of their weakest albums. Regardless, I had a good time during their set. I think some people were a little too excited, because I swear I saw a tiny pit on the right side.

Thrash legend Overkill was up next, much to the excitement of all the people who wanted a bit more of an... active experience... than the busier (musically) Symphony X. There are crossover fans for both bands, but it seemed like the majority of people were more excited for Overkill.

Overkill's set, despite having a relatively new album (White Devil Armory, 2014), they only played two song (3 if you count the taped intro) from it, filling the rest of the slightly over an hour set with various songs from their 17 (!) studio albums. Surprisingly their first Feel the Fire was king, with three tracks representing it. Ironbound, Under the Influence, and The Years of Decay were next with two each. With so many albums, it is always difficult to pick a setlist, especially for a shorter co-headline one.  There are so many songs fans would have loved to hear, but this was a good set, Overkill always bring it live.

During "Elimination," there was crowd surfing, and there were various mosh pits during most songs. They seemed decently large, but I will say the ones at Empire/Jaxx were a bit more visceral, given the more intimate nature of that venue. As a result, the more open Fillmore had less of the kinetic energy flowing as you got further from the front. Regardless, I kept my distance.

Double guitars

Frontman Bobby Blitz  was not ill this time, as he was on a previous Fillmore show. He did not disappoint. During one song there were tons of double guitars. Now that was unexpected. Perhaps a bit comical, but for some reason I always enjoy seeing guitars that are like... double guitars. The band sounded pretty great, perhaps the best I've heard them sound at the Fillmore.

Despite putting on  a decent set, It felt like we could have used way more Overkill this evening. I certainly was left wanting a bit more. Why can't we have more? But maybe that's the best, leave the audience wanting more instead of leaving early because of having too much thrash...

Next show: Pat Travers

Ghost of War (8:00-8:32)

  • No Redemption
  • Heaven's Burning
  • Beautiful Lies
  • Falling Into Eternity
  • Pull Me Under (Dream Theater cover)

Symphony X (8:47(?)- 10:05) 

  • Overture (tape)
  • Nevermore
  • Underworld
  • Without You
  • Kiss of Fire
  • Charon
  • To Hell and Back
  • Of Sins and Shadows
  • Serpent's Kiss
  • Eve of Seduction
  • Set the World on Fire (The Lie of Lies)
  • Iconoclast

Overkill (10:37-11:53)

  • XDM (tape)
  • Armorist
  • Hammerhead
  • Electric Rattlesnake
  • Powersurge
  • Rotten to the Core
  • Bring Me the Night
  • End of the Line
  • Hello From the Gutter
  • Bitter Pill
  • Overkill
  • Ironbound
  • Playing With Spiders / Skullkrusher
  • Elimination
  • Fuck You (Subhumans cover)