Durability is a word often not used when talking about metal, but it should be. Keeping a moniker active is about more than releasing music, it’s about hitting the road and playing live. Performances command recognition and solidify placement. Appearances evolve into a celebration of achievement. Music transcends genre and age, becoming something worthy of remembrance.
Friday night’s line-up had me ready to rock. Nile and Overkill on the same bill! I had interviews scheduled with both bands and was able to leave in ample time to make the event. Co-pilot Roger Schultz and I made our way through the concrete jungle known as Chicago and arrived at the venue about a half hour before the doors opened.
The Concord Music Hall (2047 N. Milwaukee Avenue) is an excellent alternative to the policy stringent House of Blues. We overpaid for parking then descended upon a huge line waiting to gain access to the building. I decided to text my Nile contact to see if the band wanted to get together earlier. Fortunately, they did and we soon found ourselves on the confines of Nile’s tour bus. The interview went well and a short time later we found ourselves entering the venue. I don’t hate the Concord. It has above average sound, easy bathroom access and you can see the stage from almost everywhere. The downside is that one 16-ounce beer costs 8 dollars!
Nile hit the stage hell-bent on resurrecting mummies from the dead. Having just seen the band live last August on the Summer Slaughter Tour, I was interested in how guitarist Brian Kingsland would do in place of long time vet Dallas Toller-Wade. Nile fans will be pleased. The revamped 3 vocal attack is as wicked as ever! This ‘new version’ of Nile is sure to make the Gods of Egypt proud. I can’t wait till they go into the studio!
Near the end of Nile’s set I got a text from my Overkill contact telling me to head out to the tour bus. Overzealous security guards delayed our trip outside but I reached my destination and sent an announcement text.
In retrospect, I believe I should have knocked on the bus door and entered but the wisdom I have acquired through many years of business has taught me that respect is always the right road to travel. Regardless, my un-answered text had me hanging out in a parking lot for over 30 minutes. I felt like an asshole but I suspect it won’t be the last time, no plan is ever prefect. I didn’t get the interview that night but a few conversations with the band’s tour manager got me on the phone with Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellesworth a couple of days later. Metal has a class all its own, thanks again John!
On a side note, I happened to be outside the doors just as Blitz arrived to hit the stage. I called out to him and he stopped. I shook his hand and wished him well. Surreal.
Overkill know how to perform. The band has been touring non-stop for decades but you wouldn’t know it, the way they plowed through song after song. Wrecking the crowd with their sarcastic anthems, the band was tight as fuck, tearing through material like a grinding wheel! There was a lot of crowd surfing as fans new and old got caught up in the moment. It was over in a flash, a power surge that left us wanting more. Overkill delivered.
On the way home, I considered the value of performance and its relationship to longevity. If you do something well and you can still do it, keep doing it because the moment you stop will be the moment people will stop looking. On the flip side, recognition can be hard-earned but the fan base you carve will be loyal and will undoubtedly remember you long after you are gone. \m/