Overkill, Exodus and more at Islington Academy (2009)

Islington Academy (London, UK)

Overkill, Exodus, Gama Bomb, Torture Squad
Just a few days after the GAMA BOMB warm up show I was back in […]
By Josh West
February 20, 2009

Just a few days after the GAMA BOMB warm up show I was back in London for the first date on the OVERKILL / EXODUS jaunt around Europe. With some great bands on the bill this was to be a gig that shouldn't be missed by any fans of new and old Thrash Metal.

Sadly I missed TORTURE SQUAD. This was party due to me having trouble with my ticket and then having the pleasure of doing an interview with Bobby Blitz of OVERKILL from what I heard from people when I did eventually get in however, was that TORTURE SQUAD preformed well to the sold out Islington Academy and people are hungry for more from the band, I would also like to see what they can do when they next make a trip to the UK.

Up next, was GAMA BOMB; the guys were again playing at top level tonight. The set list was enjoyable, they had a great stage presence and the crowd loved it. Their unique blend of Speed Metal Thrash really went down well, and once again they showed why they are running away with the new wave of Thrash crown. The guys commanded the stage and even threw in a new song that sounded very good that makes the next few months of anticipation almost unbearable waiting for the new album. GAMA BOMB knows what they are doing and if you have a chance to see them live then I highly recommend you go. Everyone is drinking, everyone sings about zombies, Thrash Metal and video games and more importantly everyone has a good time. Was also nice to once again see them out in the crowd mingling after their set so they could say hi to fans and catch the onslaught that approached.

EXODUS took to the stage, and as they did I was filled with a mixture of excitement and worry. I have always loved the early work of EXODUS but some of the later stuff always turned me off, this is mainly due to whoever they have in the singing position ( I am a big fan of Souza) and as of now they have Rob Dukes... a man who really made the performance worse then it should have been. Gary Holt destroyed all who dare listen and the rest of the guys made a huge effort and the energy from the crowd was insane, massive pits, plenty of singing and fist pumping but the singer lacked in stage presence and his particular method of delivering the vocals just didn't seem to work on the night. The final straw seemed to come when he started insulting the crowd... not something you want a front man to be doing. They did play a brilliant set list though. Plenty of headbanging to be head and apart from the small issue with the singer everyone seemed to be really enjoying it. A highlight of the whole night for me was finally hearing Toxic Waltz live, a song that I think is the ultimate tale from the pit!

Eventually, after what felt like an eternity, OVERKILL took to the stage and ...my god... I was not prepared. I had never seen OVERKILL, I have plenty of the studio albums but I sadly missed them every time they have come to the UK but this really was a performance I was glad I didn't miss.

OVERKILL ran on the stage and they slayed everyone. People who didn't like OVERKILL were turned into fans and people who already like OVERKILL head's exploded with the raw intensity of the set. The set list was mostly comprised of old classics like Hammerhead and Elimination as well as only one or two new songs. Bobby Blitz was on top form, considering his previous health problems (he had a stroke on stage only a few years ago) he was Blitzing the crowd on every song. Running around like a madman and plenty of crowd interaction made for a brilliant and very enjoyable OVERKILL set. Two brilliant surprises finished off the night- the first was a superb cover of the MOTORHEAD song Overkill and the second was an impromptu stage dive from Blitz. Watching the guy dive the distance between the stage and the railing into the middle of the crowd at the end of the set was simply incredible and then watching the security guards completely loose their minds trying to comprehend what he had just done and trying to get him to surf back was hilarious.

Overall a brilliant night, I highly recommend seeing OVERKILL if you have the chance, they put on an unforgettable live show. Hearing the 800 or so people singing back We Don't Care what you say... Fuck You! is something all fans need to witness! All the bands on the night had a brilliant sound and all had a great reception from the crowd that was mixed of old and young thrashers alike! At the end of the day what more can you ask from one of the best tour packages that has been to Europe in years?

(photos by Josh)



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