Overkill – The Hifi, 24/09/10

The thing I love about the metal community is that it is essentially a massive, worldwide family. You can walk into a room full of 500 strangers and instantly feel at home. Of course, there’s the petty bickering over subgenres (mostly by the keyboard warriors), but you get bickering in all families. That feeling of belonging was most prevalent for me at Overkill’s first ever Melbourne gig.

It was a night of firsts for me; the first time I’d seen both Overkill and Mortal Sin live. Mortal Sin’s hour-long opening set was excellent, as was their stage presence. They worked the crowd into a frenzy, and in the words of vocalist Mat Maurer, “I’d have you (the crowd) as backing singers any time.”
 
Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth’s stature as a frontman and his ability to unite the crowd are almost without equal. Between his high-energy performance and his words between songs, you could almost call him a preacher of metal.
 
Overkill’s set was tight, loud, hard and fast – all things metal should be. Personally, I only discovered Overkill a few years ago, but collectively we’ve been waiting for this gig for 25 years, and they did not disappoint. They delivered an hour and a half of balls-to-the-wall thrash, including several encores. The set list was excellent – we thrashed to Necroshine and Elimination, sung along with Old School, and screamed our lungs out during F*** You. It’s interesting, there is something extremely satisfying, almost cathartic, about screaming “F*** you!” in unison with a 500-strong horde of metalheads.
 
All in all, it was a great night, topped off with the fact that it finished in perfect time for me to walk down Swanson St and catch the Nightrider home, moments before it left. Great times.

 – Mike Young

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