If you claim to be a metalhead and haven’t heard of Overkill, you either live under a rock or don’t really like metal all that much. This New Jersey thrash band started up in 1980 and have released a whopping 19 albums throughout their storied career. Finally, they made their way back to New Orleans and put on a memorable show that will last their fans here for years to come.
Overkill took the stage under sickening neon green lights and immediately launched into “Last Man Standing,” “Electric Rattlesnake,” “Hello From the Gutter,” “Elimination,” and “Bring Me the Night.” The songs they selected that evening came from a wide range of their albums, which vocalist Bobby Ellsworth lovingly called Blitz by his fans said he wanted to do. In between songs, Blitz introduced and praised his bandmates, talked about how much he loved being back in the Gulf South, and bemused on the merits of jambalaya. More songs from years ago up until their latest album released last year spewed forth from the band including “Head of a Pin,” “Necroshine,” “Under One,” “Bastard Nation,” “Mean, Green, Killing Machine,” and “Feel the Fire.” Blitz challenged his fans to come get some more from him, taunting, “Grandpa’s gonna beat your ass!” Drumsticks from drummer Jason Bittner and guitar picks from guitarist Derek Tailer flew into the mosh many times. They may have thrown more goodies than you see from a Mardi Gras parade. The show (seemingly) ended with “Ironbound.”
But clearly, this wasn’t the end of the aural assault even though the band left the stage. Cheering them on, the insatiable crowd beckoned them back on. Overkill came back out and launched into what I believe is the longest encore I’ve ever witnessed. This period of the show included “Coma,” “Rotten to the Core,” “Fuck You” (everyone enjoyed flipping the finger and chanting the insult in unison), and “Welcome to the Garden State.” Blitz tore the setlists off the stage, crushed them into balls, wound up and pitched them into the crowd who fought over them. That’s when the show was truly over.