OVERKILL / ONE MACHINE
Date: 01st April, 2016
Venue: CCO / Centre Culturel Oecumenique
Photos: Erika Wallberg
It was April Fool's Day alright but this show was certainly no joke and we were certainly in for a treat that nice Friday evening. Of course and I knew that OVERKILL would wreck the place like they always do. And I try to cease the opportunity and see them at least once every European tour. So off to Lyon we went. The fact that ONE MACHINE were the openers was absolutely a very nice bonus. I've been looking forward to seeing them since I first heard of the band but despite the possibilities with information sharing over the internet I found out they'd played in Copenhagen the day after that show. That sure sucked!
So I was really excited to see ONE MACHINE especially after having listened to their latest release “The Final Cull” which really sounds fantastic. I do wish I'd spent more time on it though because even if I knew the songs when played, I have a hard time remember it all afterwards. The downside with ONE MACHINE's set though was the sound; it felt like it was mainly the stage sound coming out from amps and monitors which made it all rather biased and unbalanced. Not that I mind getting Steve Smyth’s amp straight in my face to get the chance to listen for real what he's doing but as a whole that's not the best situation for a show. Also Chris Hawkins’ vocals got a bit lost in the mix. Especially in the more melodic parts which is natural in the mix of harsh and melodic singing. The melodic parts don't have the same power and especially in those parts it was hard to hear what was going on. Chris had some big shoes to fill taking over the microphone from Mikkel Sandager but in my opinion he's doing it with grace on record. And as a show-man he's far superior to Mikkel, at least when I last saw Mikkel performing. Chris sure was all over the place and handled the crowd in a very good way. I guess it's a success factor to see a French crowd giving you the finger when messing up their language.
Anyway, even if the sound wasn't to ONE MACHINE's advantage I truly enjoyed the show. Title track of “The Final Cull” worked amazingly well; I really like the mix of the melodic and harsh vocals when incorporated in the music as it happens for this song. It's a bit towards NEVERMORE on one hand which is natural since Steve was a part of that history for numerous tours and perhaps most importantly, the magnificent “This Godless Endeavor”. “Armchair Warriors” also worked really well as the title brought on a little bit of giggling around me.
So yes, I enjoyed the ONE MACHINE show very much but I don't think they had the right conditions to really kill this one. Especially the vocals suffered in the mix so I will wait to say if Chris is superior to Mikkel live as well as on record. So, a headline gig wouldn't be in the way at all...
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It was definitely OVERKILL’s show as the sound was super from the start for them. Also the lights had improved a lot which should be the case because there should be a step up for the main band and when the means are limited. I mean, this is still a club show, no arena setting or anything like that. Then it's the lights that make the difference.
It sure was full on from the start, after the “XDM” intro, “Armorist” made the place moving for real. I just love OVERKILL’s energy on stage; it's a mix of something dangerous, nothing I'd want to meet in a dark alley but I gladly tag around for a party, any day. The fury in Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth’s voice for sure is there still. This was of course the premiere night of the tour but he actually sounded more charged than ever. The same can be said for the band. And it's amazing that Bobby can mix the power and force with his cheerful attitude. His smile is contagious and when he asks for response, he gets it immediately.
If there was fury in the crowd for the opening track, it was nothing compared to the following two tracks though; “Rotten To The Core” and “Hello From The Gutter” followed and the mosh-pit was on for real. But I guess Bobby's cheerful attitude tainted the crowd since it was a very good atmosphere, even if people were making a mess of the place. “Electric Rattlesnake” is one of my live-favorites from more recent years, so I was happy this was featured in the set. It was announced that this tour would focus on “Feel The Fire” and “Horrorscope” so I was happy that some of the new tracks were kept in the set. I think they are as much classics as the '80s albums. But it sure was fantastic to hear “Coma” and “Blood Money” live, both from "Horroscope" and absolutely fantastic and were very well received by the crowd too. “Thanx For Nothin'” is normally featured in the OVERKILL set but it's still great to hear it each and every time. Also the song “Overkill” has been in the set a couple of times when I've seen the band. But that too is great to hear live as “Feel The Fire” is fantastic straight through.
After the last time I saw OVERKILL there was a discussion that some songs never get boring to hear. “Thanx For Nothin'” is one of them and the other one is doubtless “Elimination” which (also as usual) kicked of the encores. And as the ending of most (if not all) OVERKILL shows I've seen it have to feature “Fuck You”. Perhaps not always as the last one but it sure works as an ending. The band gets the finger, as well as the crowd. It's interesting to watch Bobby here though as his middle fingers are rarely directed at the crowd, either up in the air or towards the sides. Ok, on occasion you can get it straight at you (in the camera for example) but even that is rare. I doubt anyone would get offended, at least not being at a show like this as most should know what they buy a ticket to see. The crowd loved it and showed it with a last round in the mosh-pit.
So, just as I expected... Or actually, OVERKILL delivered one hell of a show, over my expectations. Their energy was on top and they sounded fantastic, everything seemed to be in place even if it was the first show of the tour.
01. Intro - "XDM"
03. "Rotten To The Core"
04. "Hello From The Gutter"
05. "Electric Rattlesnake"
07. "Feel The Fire"
09. "Blood Money"
10. "Thanx for Nothin'"
14. "Fuck You"
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